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Europol: France not under suspicion

France is not one of the countries where matches are suspected of having been fixed, Europol's head of serious and organised crime has assured the president of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP).

Replying to a letter addressed to the director general of Europol, Michael Rauschenbach assured Frederic Thiriez that French-based matches were not under suspicion in Operation Veto, which Europol said in early February had highlighted attempts to fix more than 380 professional matches in more than 15 countries.

Rauschenbach wrote: "I am pleased to tell you that France is not one of the host countries of matches suspected to have been fixed. I am also happy to reassure you that should intelligence of this nature indicate suspicions of match-fixing in France in the future then Europol will seek to engage with the relevant law enforcement authorities in France as a matter of urgency."

Thiriez has called on the public authorities, the regulator of online betting and his own organisation to remain "vigilant".

He said: "People have to stop with this attitude that all football is dirty. Football is a victim and not the guilty party."

Marseille were stripped of the Ligue 1 title in 1993 after being found guilty of match-fixing.

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