Allegations that referees took bribes to influence the outcome of German football games could lead to stricter regulation of the sport, which largely writes its own rules. Berlin prosecutors said on Feb. 2 that some 25 referees, players, and others manipulated games in return for bribes from a Croatian crime syndicate, causing losses to legal bettors on the games. The German Football Federation, long criticized for mismanagement, is under pressure to clean up its act before Germany hosts the 2006 World Cup. Now, politicians across the spectrum want stricter oversight -- a move likely to be welcomed by both sponsors and fans.
EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady