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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 (CEDB) has taken the following decisions:   Match: UEFA Champions League 2014/2015 Group B, FC Basel 1893 vs. Liverpool FC (1:0) played on 1 October in Switzerland FC Basel 1893 Charges: Throwing of objects – art 16 (2) (b) DR Sanction: FC Basel 1893 have been fined 40,000€.   ---   Match: UEFA Champions League 2014/2015 Group D, Arsenal FC vs. Galatasaray A.Ş. (4:1) played on 1 October in England Galatasaray A.Ş. Charges: Setting off/ throwing of fireworks & missiles – art. 16 (2) (b) & (c) DR; Crowd disturbance – art 16 (2) (f) DR Sanction: Galatasaray A.Ş. have been fined 50,000€. The Turkish team have also been ordered to contact Arsenal FC within 30 days for the settlement of the damages caused by its supporters.   Arsenal FC Charges: Insufficient organization (lack of body searching) – art. 16 (1) DR Sanction: The CEDB has decided to close the disciplinary proceedings opened against Arsenal FC.   ---   Match: UEFA Europa League 2014/2015 Group G, Feyenoord vs. R. Standard de Liège (2:1) played on 2 October in the Netherlands Feyenoord Charges: Setting off of fireworks - Art. 16 (2) (c) DR; Insufficient organization (stairways blocked) - Art. 38 Safety & Security rag Sanction: Feyenoord have been fined 15,000€.   R. Standard de Liège Match: UEFA Europa League 2014/2015, Feyenoord vs. R. Standard de Liège (2:1) played on 2 October in the Netherlands Charges: Crowd disturbance - Art. 16 (2) (h) DR; Setting off of fireworks - Art. 16 (2) (c) DR Sanction: R. Standard de Liège have been fined 17,000€.   ---   Match: European Qualifier Group B, Andorra vs. Wales (1:2) played on 9 September in Andorra Andorran Football Federation Charges: Insufficient organization: field invasion by supporters of the away team – Art. 16 (1) DR; Improper conduct of the team (5 cards or more) - Art. 15 (4) DR Sanction: The Andorran Football Federation has been fined 10,000€.   Football Association of Wales Charges: Field invasions by supporters - Art. 16 (2) letter a) of the DR Sanction: The Football Association of Wales has been fined 5,000€.


Disciplinary organisation and cases

Match-fixing prevention

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


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