Claims that Russian and Balkan gangs have fixed European football matches are to be investigated, as Europol's probe into the corruption of the beautiful game deepens.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the chief of the EU police intelligence agency, Rob Wainwright, said that in addition to the 380 matches that have been investigated since February, a further 300 were now considered suspicious.
"We are starting to attract sources of information that we didn't have before. We are discussing with various European countries setting up two further major investigations," said Wainwright.
Recently, 44 suspects were charged in Hungary after an inquiry into spot fixing involving the football club Debrecen.
'Spot fixing' does not involve fixing the result of an entire game, but only an element of it, with punters now able to place money on, for example, when they believe they believe the first corner in a match will be taken.
Investigators think that elements of the club's 2009 European Champions League match with Liverpool may have been fixed. There is no suggestion that Liverpool have ever been involved in match fixing.
Previously, money from spot fixing was traced back to crime gangs in Singapore, but Wainwright believes European crime gangs are also involved.
"This problem isn't one just linked to Asian organised crime. We also have our suspicions about Russian mafia groups involved in match fixing. We are looking at that for the moment. Also we are looking at some organised crime groups originating from the western Balkans," said Wainwright.
"I am not surprised by this. For the gangs, this is high profit and low risk in nature. We know that Russian groups are active across many sectors so we are not surprised they are having a go at this one as well. We are boosting our team here [in the Hague] to investigate this."