UEFA wants to coach players to avoid match-fixers

Updated: 28 November 2009 13:47 IST

UEFA wants to coach football players on how to avoid associating with criminals in the wake of Europe's biggest match-fixing scandal.

Nyon Switzerland:

UEFA wants to coach football players on how to avoid associating with criminals in the wake of Europe's biggest match-fixing scandal.

The European football authority said on Friday that the German-based investigation was a "wake-up call" to focus on players' entourages.

"The case in Germany should be a wake-up call for clubs and federations to ... take measures to coach players not only on but also off the field," UEFA said in an e-mailed response to The Associated Press.

UEFA said it shared responsibility with national federations to help educate players and clubs.

"The federations, including UEFA, have to start an awareness program for players, and even clubs, informing them about the risks involved," it said.

In the United States, the four major professional sports leagues covering American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey _ the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL _ have long operated programs warning athletes about issues surrounded gambling.

European football's match-fixing scandal broke last week when German police arrested 15 people suspected of fixing 200 games as part of an organized-betting operation.

Armed with information supplied by UEFA, specialist fraud prosecutors in Bochum are investigating matches from nine national leagues, plus UEFA's Champions League and Europa League games involving teams from a further two countries.

Prosecutors say about 200 people are suspected of being involved in bribing players, coaches, referees and other officials to manipulate games and bet on the outcome.

The ring leaders are believed to have made at least euro10 million ($15 million).

UEFA has opened its own investigation into three referees and another official it suspects of helping fix matches.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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