FIFA calls for tough match fixing laws

| February 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

FIFA calls for tough match fixing laws  print

Published on February 20, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR(AFP) – Football authorities vowed Wednesday to excise the “cancer” of match-fixing but said tougher laws were needed worldwide to smash criminal syndicates suspected of rigging hundreds of matches.

FIFA’s director of security Ralf Mutschke told a two-day gathering with Interpol that the world governing body’s “zero tolerance” for match-fixing must be buttressed by “the right policies for law enforcement and the football community”.

The meeting follows revelations a fortnight ago that almost 700 matches worldwide, including Champions League ties and World Cup qualifiers, were targeted by gambling gangs.

“We are banning players and referees for life but criminals are out there free — they get no sentence. That’s wrong,” Mutschke told reporters when asked to comment on Singapore’s refusal to arrest a key suspect wanted in Italy and suspected of rigging games.

“We have to bring in governments to change legislation and laws. Many countries do not have laws to fight match manipulation,” Mutschke said.

He pointed to the November acquittal of three players in Switzerland accused of committing fraud by throwing games, where a judge said there was no obvious victim.

Mutschke said FIFA was cooperating with the Council of Europe to draft legislation to fight match-fixing, with hopes it would be implemented across the continent.

FIFA’s legal team will also press the case at a May meeting of national sports ministers in Berlin where match-fixing is due to be discussed, he said.

About 150 delegates from Asian football associations, player and referee representatives and government agencies are meeting in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, home to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

“We are ready to work hand-in-hand to eradicate this cancer from the game. AFC will not rest until this plague is completely stamped out in Asia,” the AFC’s acting president Zhang Jilong said in a speech.

But he later admitted to AFP that eradication “could be difficult, especially in Asia”, where gambling is widespread and flourishing.

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