Blatter, Platini lament 'scourge' of match-fixing

Updated: 22 March 2012 17:42 IST

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini on Thursday warned that world football chiefs were determined to win the battle against the scourge of match-fixing.

Blatter, Platini lament 'scourge' of match-fixing

Istanbul:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini on Thursday warned that world football chiefs were determined to win the battle against the scourge of match-fixing.


Speaking on the opening day of the UEFA Congress in Istanbul, Blatter said FIFA's decision to use an 'early warning system' which monitors suspicious betting patterns and the involvement of Interpol was proving successful.

An unprecedented court case in Turkish football began in February, with 93 people, including the president of first division giants Fenerbahce, accused of rigging games and the club banned from the Champions League by UEFA this season.

"The problem is very recent, illegal betting is leading to match-fixing," said Blatter. "But we have put an alert system in place and we're working with Interpol, the international police, against this scourge which is undermining our sport.

"There are other dangers, but this one is really undermining our sport, because the competition is becoming increasingly insecure if we know the result in advance."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also touched on the issue during his address and pointed out that his country had adopted a law to make match-fixing a criminal offence.

"Let us work together, to prevent our young people from taking the wrong path, let's fight against match-fixing," said Erdogan.

Platini stressed the importance of bringing moral values back onto the football pitch and called for the backing of governments in their fight against a wide range of issues which are undermining the sport.

"Violence, match-fixing, illegal betting, doping, pressure and threats against players, non-respect of contracts, traffic of young players, money laundering: these problems exist, and worse than that they seem to be taking root and becoming commonplace," said the European football boss.

"Let's bring morals back onto the football pitch,"

Platini also praised the European Union's backing of the "financial fair-play" initiative as "a great victory for UEFA and football".

The "financial fair-play" rules, first approved by UEFA's executive committee back in 2009, are due to come into effect in 2013-14 and effectively state that a club cannot spend more than it earns.

"The European Commission recognises the necessity for financial fair-play and have urged us to go further, evoking for the first time the necessity for greater tax equity between clubs," the UEFA chief added.

Penalties for transgressions are expected to range from simple fines to exclusion from European competitions run by UEFA.



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