Governments must do more to fight fixing, say FIFA

Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:04pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - Footballers who take part in match-manipulation risk losing their careers if caught but those who induce the players and set up the fix do so at almost no risk to themselves, according to FIFA's head of security Ralf Mutschke.

In the last few years, dozens of players have been banned, many for life, for trying to manipulate matches, often driven to do so in desperation after months of not being paid at all by cash-strapped clubs.

Recent cases have involved, among others, the Austrian Bundesliga, English football's semi-professional sixth tier and the El Salvador national side, where 14 regular internationals, who have formed the core of the national side for the last decade, received life bans.

"The fixer is moving from one player or referee to the next, and is basically exempt, cannot be prosecuted, but when we know about the players, we ban them from life from football," said Mutschke.

"It's not a good deterrent for organized crime, for the criminals, and I say clearly, we need the assistance of governments, and the political will to change.

"We would like the criminals, the ones bribing the players, to get a stricter sentence to deter them. Currently there is no deterrent, they are moving around, they approaching people, with what we call cold approach.

"They have no risk, and that is awful."

Mutschke said governments were, in most cases, "not doing enough.   Continued...

FIFA head of security Ralf Mutschke gestures during an interview with journalists at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer