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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 07:05 GMT
Greeks investigate match-fixing
Panionios players celebrate a goal
The Panionios players celebrate a goal in their remarkable comeback
Greece's Public Prosecutions Office is to investigate allegations of match-fixing surrounding the Uefa Cup tie between Panionios and Dinamo Tblisi.

British bookmakers suspended markets after suspicious betting patterns on the Group D game, which Panionios won 5-2 after trailing 1-0 at half-time.

Huge amounts of money were staked by gamblers on Panionios to be losing at half-time and winning at full-time.

Uefa revealed on Friday it would launch its own inquiry into the allegations.

"We are in the process of looking for information from media reports, betting agencies and bookmakers," a Uefa spokesman told BBC Sport.

Greek side Panionios trailed at the interval to Mikheil Kakaladze's strike but a 19-minute hat-trick in the second half from striker Evagelos Mantzios put them back in control.

We are interested in looking further into it
Uefa spokesman
And strikes deep into injury-time from Mario Breska and Karlos Marcora put the result beyond doubt.

But with unusual trading patterns across various bookmakers and exchanges reported in the Racing Post newspaper, Uefa is gathering relevant information ahead of a possible investigation.

"We haven't heard anything definite as yet but we are aware of the situation and are interested in looking further into it," added the spokesman.

"We will gather more information before deciding what to do next."

Betfair - a betting exchange rather than traditional bookmaker - did not suspend the market and experienced a huge volume of trade at odds that would ordinarily be deemed as extraordinarily uncompetitive.

The half-time/full-time market - in which punters predict who will be ahead in a football match at 45 and 90 minutes - saw some of the most unusual figures.

The odds on Tbilisi being in front at half-time and Panionios recovering to win would normally be expected to trade at around 33-1.

But Betfair saw prices tumble to only 4-1 before kick-off because of a massive influx of money, which brought down the odds.

"Clearly questions have to be asked," Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin told BBC Sport.

"We have a big security team of more than 30 people looking into any possible fraudulent activity and they spotted these patterns very early on."

However, Betfair will not be offering any information to Uefa as it looks to launch an investigation.

The company has a policy of developing "Memorandums of Understanding" with sport governing bodies such as the FA and ICC in which it agrees to supply information - including names and amounts gambled - should unusual betting patterns emerge.

It is in the process of negotiating such a deal with Uefa but has yet to finalise the agreement.

"The sooner a Memorandum of Understanding is in place, the better," said the Betfair spokesman.




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