Nyon Switzerland:Five clubs in Albania, Latvia, Slovenia and Hungary are suspected in European football's biggest match-fixing investigation, UEFA said on Wednesday.
The European football body identified the clubs as KF Tirana, FC Dinaburg, KS Vilaznia, NK IB Llubljana and Honved and said they allegedly fixed seven qualifying round games in the Champions League and Europa League between July 16 and Aug. 6.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino described match-fixing as a "cancer we need to eradicate."
He said the seven matches were among 40 in continental club competitions previously identified as being under suspicion.
Infantino said UEFA is also investigating three referees and one official connected to UEFA. No member of UEFA's administrative staff is suspected, he said.
"We don't know if this is the end of the story," Infantino said.
UEFA is cooperating with prosecutors in Bochum, Germany, who are leading a criminal probe into about 200 suspect matches in nine domestic leagues.
German-based betting syndicates are suspected of bribing players, coaches, referees and other officials to fix games and the suspected leaders are believed to have made at least euro10 million ($15 million).
Police arrested 15 people in Germany last week, including Ante Sapina, a Croatian national who was convicted in Germany's match-fixing scandal in 2005 that involved referee Robert Hoyzer.
UEFA officials met with national association leaders from the nine countries _ Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey _ to share information about the investigation on Wednesday.
"At the start people were certainly shocked about the magnitude (of the scandal)," Infantino said after the three-hour summit at UEFA headquarters. "At the end of the meeting there was much more reassurance because we are working together."
UEFA and its nine national members issued a joint statement promising strong action against any player, referee or club official implicated.
"He will be out of football, this is very, very clear," Infantino said.
UEFA acknowledged that its investigative powers could not tackle organized crime.
It said football authorities would work with state justice departments to share information and file criminal complaints.
"We want all our associations, all 53, to be at the same level when it comes to fighting this cancer we need to eradicate," Infantino said.
Matches named by UEFA on Wednesday as under investigation for suspected match-fixing (all losing teams under suspicion):
Second Qualifying Round
July 21 _ Stabaek (Norway) 4, KF Tirana (Albania) 0
Second Qualifying Round
July 16 _ Bnei Yehuda (Israel) 4, FC Dinaburg (Latvia) 0
July 23 _ FC Dinaburg (Latvia) 0, Bnei Yehuda (Israel) 1
July 16 _ Rapid Vienna (Austria) 5, KS Vllaznia (Albania) 0
July 23 _ KS Vllaznia (Albania) 0, Rapid Vienna (Austria) 3
Third Qualifying Round
July 30 _ Fenerbahce (Turkey) 5, Honved (Hungary) 1
August 6 _ NK IB Ljubljana (Slovenia) 0, Metallurg Donetsk (Ukraine) 3