Eight men accused of attempting to rig soccer games go on trial

Eight men charged with fraud in largely unsuccessful attempts to rig soccer games in Germany and Austria went on trial Thursday.

The eight, including three minor league players, are charged with 10 counts of fraud.

The group is accused of offering bribes of between Ђ5,000 and Ђ10,000 (US$6,450 and US$12,900) to players to intentionally play badly or miss penalty shots.

William Lim, a 45-year-old Malayan, is accused of being the ringleader of the group.

Prosecutors described how Lim and one of his co-defendants lost a total of Ђ737,000 (US$950,000) by betting that Sturm Graz would lose to Austria Vienna by two goals but the game between two Austrian first division teams ended 0-0.

Lim and his partner allegedly contacted the coach and a player from Sturm Graz in the attempt to fix the match but the latter two have denied any wrongdoing, reports AP.

Lim and his group were exposed when a player from a German minor league reported an attempt to bribe him to the German soccer federation last March.

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