12/3/09 – Media reports from Cape Town, where the football World Cup team draws take place Friday, indicate that the international governing body FIFA is taking the threat of corruption seriously, enlisting the aid of Interpol to find and prosecute match-fixers.
FIFA used the opportunity presented by the gathering to draw teams to call an extraordinary meeting where counter-corruption strategies and match control issues were considered.
The meeting was briefed on the involvement of the International Police Association (Interpol), which is to create an international task force to fight illegal betting in sport in general and in football in particular. This development follows string of meetings between world and European football authorities and various policing organisations after revelations of major European match-scams.
More than 200 matches, mostly in lower divisions in eastern Europe, are under investigation over suspicious betting patterns linked to alleged match-fixing; 17 people are under arrest.
Following the meeting, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: “We have received wonderful support in the fight to prevent football being hostage for illegal activities. We cannot easily go to courts but we have now found a partner in Interpol. This means all the present control systems – the FIFA early-warning for international matches, another for UEFA plus the German Radar system will be put together.
“Interpol has assured FIFA that it strongly supports creating an international task force to fight illegal betting in sports in general and in football in particular.”
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