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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Soccer probe alleges flagrant match-fixing

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- More than 400 people, including players, are suspected of conspiring to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world, Europol said Monday in the Netherlands.

Officials said qualifying games for the World Cup and European Cup and two Champions League matches were among those fixed.

Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, which has headquarters at The Hague, said about 680 matches have been identified as possibly fixed, including 300 outside of Europe

They said at least 425 people from more than 15 countries took part in the match-fixing, The New York Times reported.

Club and match officials as well as current and former players are among those suspected of involvement.

Asian criminal syndicates made millions of dollars by betting on the mixed games, officials said.

It wasn't clear how many of the suspect matches were new discoveries and how many were already known to have been fixed.


Indiana returns to top of basketball poll

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Indiana, the pre-season No. 1, has been returned to the top spot in the USA Today Coaches basketball poll.

With a No. 1 team falling for a fourth consecutive week -- this time it was Kansas at the hands of Oklahoma State -- Indiana (20-2) used its win over Michigan to reclaim the spot on top of the rankings.

The Hoosiers were No. 1 in the pre-season poll and remained there until Dec. 17 when Duke took over after Indiana lost to Butler.

They are back on top after pulling in 25 first-place votes and moving up from the No. 3 spot a week ago. Florida (18-2) receives the other six first-place mentions and is ranked second.

Michigan (20-2) slips only one spot to third while Duke (19-2) is fourth and Kansas (19-2) slips to fifth.

Six teams jump at least four spots this week and three -- Oregon, Wichita State and Mississippi, which all lost twice last week -- fall at least seven places in the poll.

Gonzaga (21-1) comes in sixth this week with Arizona (20-2) in seventh and Michigan State (18-4) eighth. They all move up one spot as Syracuse (18-3) falls three places to ninth. Ohio State (17-4) is voted 10th.

Miami (Fla.) (17-3), unranked two weeks ago, is 11th ahead of Louisville (18-4) at 12th and Creighton (20-3), up four to 13th. Butler (18-4) drops four to 14th and Kansas State (17-4) gains six to 15th.

No. 16 New Mexico (19-3), 17th-ranked Cincinnati (81-4) and No. 18 Minnesota (19-3) all match Kansas State's jump of six places this week. Oregon (18-4), 12th a week ago, comes in 19th and Missouri (16-5) is No. 20.

Georgetown (16-4) returns to the rankings at 21st but Wichita State (19-4) is down eight to 22nd and Mississippi (17-4) drops seven to 23rd. Previously unranked Oklahoma State (15-5) is 24th while Pittsburgh (18-5), also not ranked a week ago, and San Diego State (16-5) are tied for 25th.


Report: Jets to try to trade Tebow

NEW YORK, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- New York Jets officials said they don't plan on releasing quarterback Tim Tebow and hope to trade him, NFL sources told ESPN.

Some observers say there is not expected to be much interest among other teams in obtaining Tebow.

"I think his career is over without playing another position," a general manager said last week.

The first day the Jets could trade the quarterback is March 12, ESPN reported Sunday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, which at one time expressed an interest in Tebow, said they are no longer interested.

"I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar -- even if he's released," new Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said last month.

Tebow was in just 73 offensive plays for the Jets this season.


Mickelson back in golf Top 10

VIRGINIA WATER, England, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Phil Mickelson's victory at the PGA Tour's stop in Phoenix, his first win in about a year, also returns him to the men's golf Top 10.

Mickelson posted a wire-to-wire win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It was the third time he's won the event and 41st PGA title but his first tournament win since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last February. That tournament is to be contested this week.

Mickelson was ranked 22nd going into last week's tournament but jumps to 10th with a ranking points average of 5.244. That pushed Jason Dufner (5.050) to 11th.

Brandt Snedeker was second to Mickelson in Phoenix and passed Adam Scott for the No. 6 spot in the rankings. His average is 6.252 while Scott, in seventh, is at 5.969.

Rory McIlroy remains No. 1, a spot he's held for the last 26 weeks and 33 weeks overall. His average is 12.233 with Tiger Woods in second at 9.158. Luke Donald is third at 7.760 followed by Justin Rose (6.535) and Louis Oosthuizen (6.524).

Lee Westwood comes in eighth after Snedeker and Scott. His average is 5.616. No. 9 Bubba Watson has an average of 5.264.

Stephen Gallacher won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for his first European Tour victory since October 2004. He leaps this week to No. 60 in the rankings, an improvement of 51 places.

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