Sun, Jul 05, 2009 - Page 18 News List

UEFA to step up its efforts to combat match-fixing: expert


The European soccer union UEFA wants to step up its monitoring system in the fight against match-fixing, a German newspaper reported on Friday quoting a UEFA expert.

From next season, UEFA will be expanding its monitoring of European matches to include all games in the top two divisions of all European countries, Peter Limacher, UEFA’s head of disciplinary services, was quoted as saying by Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The organization also intends to set up a database providing information on matches and betting flows.

Soccer authorities have long been concerned about the risk of match-rigging involving betting syndicates and have followed up a number of suspicious matches.

A UEFA investigative unit has been looking at suspicious betting movements, while world governing body FIFA also has an early warning system for monitoring soccer betting.

In April, UEFA banned Macedonian club FK Podeba for eight years from European events over a match-fixing scheme in a Champions League qualifying tie.

Asia, where nine out of 10 betting fraud cases are believed to originate, continues to be the focus of investigations.

“The problem is the enormously high liquidity in Asia’s betting market and the dirty money it often attracts,” Limacher said.

A report released on Wednesday by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned that soccer risked being used by criminals for money laundering purposes.

The FATF, an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing, says criminals are buying clubs, transferring players, betting, using image rights and sponsorship or advertising arrangements.

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