According to local reports, the Dutch police have launched an investigation over suspicion of match-fixing after large bets were placed on a footballer who received a yellow card during an Eredivisie game.
The incident is believed to be the first criminal inquiry into ‘spot-fixing,’ which is when players take money for doing certain things during a match, in this case receiving a yellow card.
The authorities were alerted to the issue after people noticed some unusual betting patterns; one gambler had placed five bets with the same bookmaker for a total of €3,000 ($3,625) and managed to win €13,000, while two more gamblers earned around €1,000 each.
Due to an ongoing investigation, the identity of the player has not been mentioned; however, according to reports Sparta Rotterdam has identified its defender Tom Beugelsdijk to be involved in the investigation.
Sparta has, though, confirmed there will be no issues with the defender playing as the investigation proceeds.
A spokesman for the police had confirmed that the incident was been taken “very seriously” and that the case could potentially be counted as fraud.
The Netherlands doesn’t report many cases of match-fixing and professor of sports law at the VU university in Amsterdam, Marjan Olfers, is quoted as saying the country is lagging behind in this area.
Olfers said: “The Netherlands is a kind of blind spot. Until now we’ve never had a match-fixing case that led to a prosecution. I welcome the fact that the public prosecution service are going to see if there is more to this case.”
Olfers continued to say this could be bigger than first thought, as often there are organisations behind such actions.