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Fighting the 'scourge' of match-fixing

Published: Tuesday 29 April 2014, 18.22CET
At the inaugural UEFA match-fixing working group meeting, Michel Platini spoke of the "sad and serious reality" of match-fixing, and emphasised the commitment to ridding the game of it.
by Mark Chaplin
from Nyon

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The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has today taken the following decisions concerning racist incidents at recent UEFA club competition qualifying matches:   Competition: 2014/15 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round, first leg Match: Diósgyőri VTK vs. Birkirkara FC (2:1) played on 3 July 2014 in Hungary Incident: Racist behaviour - art. 14 DR Sanction: The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has ordered the partial closure of Diósgyőr FC Stadium DVTK during the next (1) UEFA competition match in which Diósgyőr FC would play as a host club, and, in particular, the sectors B 5 to 7 of the Stadium Stadium DVTK.   Competition: 2014/2015 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round, second leg Match: FC Spartak Trnava vs. Hibernians FC (5:0) played on 10 July 2014 in Slovakia Incident: Racist behaviour of supporters - Art. 14 of the DR Sanction: The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has ordered the partial closure of FC Spartak Trnava Stadium Antona Malatinského during the next (1) UEFA competition match in which FC Spartak Trnava would play as a host club, and, in particular, the sectors B 1 and 2 of the Stadium Stadium Antona Malatinského.   Competition: 2014/2015 UEFA Europa League 1st qualifying round, both legs Match: Sliema Wanderers FC vs. Ferencvárosi TC (1:1) played on 1 July 2014 in Malta and Ferencvárosi TC vs. Sliema Wanderers FC (2:1) played on 10 July 2014 in Hungary Incident: Racist behaviour (monkey chants) and racist banners - Art. 14 DR Sanction: The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has ordered the partial closure of Ferencvárosi TC Stadium during the next (1) UEFA competition match in which Ferencvárosi TC would play as a host club, and, in particular, the sector N of the Stadium and to fine Ferencvárosi TC 20´000€ for the racist behaviour of their supporters.   The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions. Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June 2013, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level – resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour.

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Published: Tuesday 29 April 2014, 18.22CET

Fighting the 'scourge' of match-fixing

At the inaugural UEFA match-fixing working group meeting, Michel Platini spoke of the "sad and serious reality" of match-fixing, and emphasised the commitment to ridding the game of it.

UEFA President Michel Platini has stressed the determination of European football to eliminate what he called the "scourge" of match-fixing, as the relationship on the issue between UEFA and key stakeholders took a crucial step forward.

"[Match-fixing] is not a fantasy; it is a reality, a sad and serious reality," said Mr Platini at the inaugural meeting of the UEFA working group on match-fixing in Nyon. The UEFA President urged full cooperation between the football authorities, state authorities and law enforcement agencies in the fight against match-fixing, emphasising that sports bodies cannot conduct the fight alone.

"Since my election in 2007, I have not stopped calling for help in the fight against this danger," said the UEFA President. "For a long time, I had the impression that I was crying in the wilderness. But today, I finally have the impression that I am being heard and perhaps even listened to.

"UEFA and its member associations are aware of the fact that the football authorities do not have the means to deal with the problem of match-fixing themselves," he added. "We are doing our utmost, believe me, but our powers and perogatives are limited, because we are not judges or prosecutors, nor are we police officers.

"It is only by working hand in hand with government authorities and law enforcement bodies that we can eradicate this scourge once and for all."

UEFA has made the fight against match-fixing one of its key priorities. "UEFA remains vigilant and aware of the fact that match-fixing is the greatest danger that threatens our sport," the UEFA President continued. "Without its unpredictable character sport loses its charm, spirit and profound sense. The heart of football, the game and its soul are affected."

Mr Platini questioned the point of going to a match if the result was known in advance. "At UEFA, we will therefore never accept that football is tarnished by match-fixing. We will protect our competitions, sport, players and officials."

The UEFA President, together with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and UEFA disciplinary and integrity officials, were joined at the House of European Football by state and national football association prosecutors, police and crime prevention officials, and betting and gambling experts from numerous European countries in what was the first official exchange between all parties involved in combatting match-fixing.

"Today the meeting was very positive, with criminal prosecutors and sports lawyers coming together to discuss a framework for the future, to fight this danger," said German state prosecutor Andreas Bachmann, who headed the investigations in Bochum that led to eventual convictions for crimes related to match-fixing. "If you look at the development from 2010 within UEFA, then it is clear that great work has already been done, it is all very well organised. We are on a good way for the future.

"The challenges are numerous; match-fixing is a complex phenomenon, because it doesn’t have a strict format," added Italian state prosecutor Roberto Di Martino, who led the Ultima Scommessa (Last Bet) match-fixing investigation, which resulted in successful convictions for match-fixing activity in Italy. "There are many situations that need to be looked at, and it is with initiatives of this type that we are seeking to find some common ground, especially with regards to this collaboration between judicial authorities, who investigate the crimes, and UEFA."

The meeting heard about UEFA's sophisticated betting fraud detection system, in which more than 30,000 matches in UEFA and domestic competitions are monitored each year for illegal betting activities, and its establishment of a network of integrity officers in each association, in particular to act as liaison officer for cooperation between the football authorities and state law enforcement agencies. In turn, UEFA was informed by its guests about how the countries present are approaching match-fixing, especially from a legal point of view.

Last updated: 09/05/14 1.32CET

http://www.uefa.com/disciplinary/news/newsid=2098300.html#fighting+scourge+match+fixing

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