Mafia bosses 'target UEFA referees with bribes of up to £25,000'

Mafia bosses are ‘targeting football referees with bribes of up to £25,000’ to get them to swing matches, a leaked memo sent to European governing bodies – including the FA – claims

  • A memo has warned governing bodies of complex levels of cyber-crime 
  • The criminals want to bribe referees into throwing European matches
  • It is not believed that any English officials have been targeted by the gangs 
  • Mafia bosses are reportedly targeting UEFA referees with £25,000 offers to bribe them into throwing football matches.

    According to The Sun, referees are being targeted with sophisticated cyber-crime software that has been fine-tuned during the pandemic.

    The Sun claim to have seen a memo which warns: ‘The corrupters made use of cyber-crime tactics not previously seen in reported corrupter messages, possibly pointing to a bleed-over in tactics from more sophisticated groups or even the potential for collaboration with such groups.

    Mafia bosses are reportedly targeting UEFA referees with £25,000 offers of bribery

    Mafia bosses are reportedly targeting UEFA referees with £25,000 offers of bribery

    ‘This evolution may have been accelerated by the Covid lockdown, during which cyber criminals both diversified and intensified their criminal activities, according to Europol.’

    The Football Association are said to be one of a number of organisations who have been sent the memo.

    The report adds that it is believed the crime gangs are based in Asia.

    It is not thought that English referees were targeted, however the messages were sent in English.

    UEFA runs three competitions across Europe – the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

    The matches are officiated by referees from countries all over the continent. 

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