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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 Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Investigatory Chamber today announced that ten clubs, for which investigations were opened following non-compliance with Financial Fair Play (FFP) break-even regulations, have individually agreed to settlement agreements. The clubs are AS Monaco FC, AS Roma, Beşiktaş JK, FC Internazionale Milano, FC Krasnodar, FC Lokomotiv Moskva and Sporting Clube de Portugal and, for minor breaches, FC Rostov, Kardemir Karabükspor and PFC CSKA Sofia. The CFCB Investigatory Chamber also announced that VfL Wolsburg have been found (following the submission of additional financial information) to have satisfied the break-even requirement and are no longer under investigation. These settlement agreements aim to ensure that each club achieves break-even compliance with minimal delay, and are defined by Articles 14 (1) (b) and 15 of the Procedural Rules governing the CFCB. Each of the settlement agreements includes some or all of the following provisions: Break-even targets: Defined as (i) annual and aggregate break-even results as per individual summary settlements, and/or (ii) financial covenants on the level of employee benefit expenses (total wages and benefits) and player’s amortization incurred in the relevant reporting period(s); Sporting measures: Defined as limitations on (i) the number of players included on the 'A' list related to UEFA competitions, and/or (ii) the registration of newly-transferred players on the 'A' and 'B' squad lists related to UEFA competitions; and/or (iii) employee benefit expenses (total wages and benefits) incurred in the relevant reporting period(s); and Financial contributions: Defined as (i) money withheld from revenues earned from participation in UEFA competitions; or (ii) an amount to be paid in full by a certain deadline. Such contributions shall not impact future break-even calculations. In the event of a club not qualifying for UEFA competition next season, it will nonetheless be subject to the terms of the settlement agreements. The individual settlement agreements will published on UEFA.org next week and a club-by-club summary for information purposes has been published at (LINK). Four previous settlement agreements were announced on 27 February 2015, so today's announcement brings the total number of settlement agreements for 2014/2015 to 14.


Disciplinary organisation and cases

Match-fixing prevention

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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