Article

Match-fixing a ´global threat´, FIFA warn

5 September 2013 22:39

FIFA's director of security, Ralf Mutschke, has warned that match-fixing is threatening football on a global scale.

A number of cases of rigged matches have seen heavy punishments handed down in recent months with players and officials from countries as varied as Armenia, Tunisia, Lebanon and Estonia being hit with life bans for their part in corruption.

Four clubs from Nigeria involved in matches with promotion to the Nationwide League Division have been banned for 10 years after scorelines of 79-0 and 67-0 in favour of the sides chasing elevation.

Turkish duo Besiktas and Fenerbahce have also been banned from continental competition by UEFA, but Mutschke warned of the fight football authorities have on their hands to stamp out the issue.

"Match manipulation is a global threat to football," he said.

"We identified organised crime attacking football on an international level.

"We identified organised groups who are involved in match manipulation and, just to give you an example, one of the groups in the recent years - we had seen and had footsteps found in the Americas, in Africa, in Asia and in Europe.

"We followed them in more than 60 countries.

"So there is clearly strong proof that this is a global problem, regardless of whether it's a developed, rich, or poor region.

"All regions are at stake and there's no safe haven from match manipulation."

With a busy schedule of international fixtures taking place worldwide over the weekend, Mutschke is hoping FIFA's Early Warning System will flag up any suspicious betting patterns that are found globally.

He remains confident that, with the resources available to them, FIFA remain in a strong position to tackle the problem effectively.

Mutschke added: "We're talking here about a detection mechanism to identify suspicious matches.

"FIFA has more systems than just one, like monitoring system EWS to detect suspicious matches.

"We have a reporting mechanism, which is available to the public as well as the football community; we also have our own informants, and we have strong cooperation with the law enforcement bodies as well.

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