UEFA president Michel Platini has been speaking to BBC
Platini spoke about racism, video technology and the World Cup in 2022 but he said his biggest worry is match-fixing. “If tomorrow, we go watch a game already knowing the outcome, football is dead,” the former France player and manager said.
In the last two years there have been several instances of match-fixing exposed throughout national and international football.
In August 2011, FIFA banned six international referees for life after matches were fixed between Latvia and Bolivia and Estonia and Bulgaria in a friendly tournament in Turkey. The matches were fixed for a betting scam where crime syndicates bet on the number of goals per game. In this instance the bet was on the games having at least three goals. Over the two games there were a total of seven goals, all from penalties.
In July 2012, Aziz Yildirim, the president of Turkish team Fenerbahce, was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of fixing six matches and offering payments to players and club officials. He was also find £460,000 and banned from club management and watching matches.
Match-fixing has tarnished several leagues from many countries including Italy, with match-fixing resulting in bans or prosecutions for 19 individuals and 15 clubs in June 2011, Israel, where FA Chairman Avi Luzon was questioned about match-fixing in January 2012, Finland, which saw even Zambian players given suspended jail sentences after being found guilty of accepting bribes to change the result of matches in the Finnish league in July 2011, and Greece, where 68 people were named in connection with match-fixing including club presidents, club owners, players and referees in June 2011.
Platini went on to say: “Racism, violence do not affect just soccer but the public. On the other hand we’re directly concerned by match-fixing. For me, this is the big shame.”
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