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Match-fixing dangers spelled out at Wales finals

Published: Wednesday 21 August 2013, 13.25CET
Players at the Women's Under-19 finals in south Wales have learned about UEFA's zero tolerance approach to match-fixing during presentations to the eight competing teams.
by Patrick Hart
from Swansea
Match-fixing dangers spelled out at Wales finals
The players taking part in the WU19 finals have attended presentations on the dangers of match-fixing ©Sportsfile

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The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) met last week and announced the following decisions:   Match: European Qualifiers, Group D, Georgia v Germany (0-2), 29 March, Tbilisi Georgian Football Federation (GFF) Incidents: Field invasion by supporters – Art. 16 (2) (a) DR; Setting off of fireworks – Art. 16 (2) (c) DR; Insufficient organisation (stairs blocked, lack of body search, gates locked, accreditation system) – Art. 26, 31, 33, 39 of the UEFA safety and security regulations; Art. 11 (1) DR). Decision: The Georgian Football Federation (GFF) has been fined €50,000. -- Match: UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second-leg match between Feyenoord - AS Roma (1-2), played on 26 February in the Netherlands. Feyenoord Incidents: Racist behaviour - Art. 14 DR; Stairs blocked - Art. 38 Safety and Security reg.; Setting off/throwing of fireworks and/or objects Art. 16 (2) DR; Te Vrede Mitchell - art 15 (1) DR; Mulder Erwin Gerardus Theodorus Franc – art 15 (1) DR Decision: Feyenoord has been ordered to play their next (1) UEFA competition match as host club behind closed doors. The Dutch club have also been fined €50,000 for the racist behaviour of its supporters. In addition, the CEDB has decided to order Feyenoord to play one additional UEFA competition match as host club behind closed doors, as well as to fine the club €50,000 for the setting off and throwing of fireworks and objects, and the blocked stairways. The additional match behind closed doors sanction is deferred for a probationary period of two years. Feyenoord player Te Vrede Mitchell has been suspended for two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible. Feyenoord player Mulder Erwin Gerardus Theodorus Franc has been suspended for two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible. -- Match: UEFA Europa League, semi-final, first leg between SSC Napoli and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (1-1) played on 7 May in Italy. SSC Napoli Incidents: Setting off of fireworks – art. 16 (2) (c) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR); Insufficient organisation – stairways blocked – art. 38 safety & security regulations; Use of laser pointer – art. 16 (2) (d) DR Decision: The CEDB has ordered the partial closure of the SSC Napoli Stadium during the next (1) UEFA competition match in which SSC Napoli would play as the host club, and, in particular SSC Napoli shall closed Curvca A and B of the SSC Napoli Stadium. The Italian club have also been fined €80,000. -- Match: UEFA Champions League, quarter-final, second leg between FC Bayern München and FC Porto (6-1) played on 21 April in Germany. Incidents: Josep Guardiola – Incident of non-sporting nature – Art. 11 (2) (c) Disciplinary regulations Decision: FC Bayern München coach Josep Guardiola has received a warning. Julian Lopetegui – Dismissal from the bench – Art. 60 DR Decision: FC Porto coach Julian Lopetegui has been suspended for one (1) UEFA competition match in which he would otherwise participate. -- Match: European Qualifiers, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Poland (1-1), 29 March, Dublin Incidents: Football Association of Ireland (FAI): Improper conduct of the team (5 cards or more) – Art. 15 (4) DR Decision: The Football Association of Ireland has been fined €6,000. Polish Football Federation (PZPN): Setting-off of fireworks/throwing of objects – Art. 16 (2) (b) & (c) DR Decision: The Polish Football Association has been fined €25,000.

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Published: Wednesday 21 August 2013, 13.25CET

Match-fixing dangers spelled out at Wales finals

Players at the Women's Under-19 finals in south Wales have learned about UEFA's zero tolerance approach to match-fixing during presentations to the eight competing teams.

UEFA's fight against corruption in football now spans the women's game with presentations to all eight competing teams, plus the match officials, at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in south-west Wales.

Each of the hour-long sessions was led by UEFA's intelligence coordinator Graham Peaker, who told his audience: "UEFA has a zero tolerance approach to match-fixing. All football matches are to be played in a spirit of respect and fairness, with the outcome determined solely on the merits of the competing teams and the result uncertain until the match is completed."

Peaker was quick to underline the links between match-fixing and organised crime, pointing out that the related currency comes from criminal activity and is a form of money laundering. UEFA monitors every match in its competitions, plus all first and second division and cup games from each of the 54 European national associations. "That's around 32,000 matches a year in total," he said. "Any match that's manipulated is one too many."

The players also heard how UEFA's betting fraud detection system (BFDS) works, along with the markets in Europe and Asia. UEFA is in close contact with betting companies to monitor irregular patterns. Additionally, the governing body works closely with FIFA and the integrity officers at every national association to investigate any possible offences and, if necessary, open disciplinary and even criminal proceedings. "Match-fixing is fraud," said Peaker.

To illustrate how much money is involved, Peaker provided illuminating examples: it is estimated that more than €1bn was gambled on the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final in Asia alone. Indeed, more than €500bn per annum is legally gambled on sport worldwide. It came as a surprise to the players to learn that even matches at these finals are being offered by Asian bookmakers.

It was also spelled out why games are fixed – financial problems for players, coaches, clubs or referees – and how, following massive bets placed in the Asian markets, key players are told to play a certain way to ensure their side lose. "When a match is fixed, there's always someone involved on the pitch," Peaker said.

UEFA is extremely active in tackling match-fixing, investigating any games or players that give cause for concern. "Any guilty party will be sanctioned – they are out of the game for life," Peaker made clear. "It's tough but it has to be done." While such presentations help raise awareness, UEFA has also set up a hotline and reporting platform for contacting them anonymously and confidentially – and works closely with state authorities to sanction offenders. Players and referees have been banned for life; clubs have been excluded from UEFA competition.

"Why are we giving you this warning?" Peaker asked. "We want to protect you – you are the stars of the future and we want you in the game. Match-fixing is a threat to the integrity and popularity of football and if you are approached, you must inform UEFA or your national association. Match-fixers are dangerous people.

"If someone asks you to manipulate a match, recognise what is happening, reject it immediately and report it. Don't get involved in organised crime. If anyone is found guilty of involvement, they'll receive a red card from football for life."

Last updated: 14/11/14 14.10CET

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