Fixing on the rise, says Blatter

Fixing on the rise, says Blatter

The scourge of match-fixing is undermining soccer and the problem is getting worse, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.

Addressing the UEFA Congress in Istanbul, Blatter said FIFA's decision to use an 'early warning system' which monitors suspicious betting patterns and alerts the international police force Interpol was paying off but that the problem was growing.

He also alluded to Turkey being affected by match-rigging -- Fenerbahce were banned from the Champions League this season due to match-fixing.

“Are we responsible for all the evils in our world? No. But we must see to it that we stay alert,” said Blatter. “There is something that is new and concerns the region where we are and that is illegal betting and this leads to match rigging.”

Blatter was pleased that FIFA, UEFA and the other confederations were working closely with Interpol.

“We are working together against the scourge of match-rigging, which is undermining our sport. This makes our sport a matter of chance when matches are being rigged.”
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also spoke of match-fixing in his address to the Congress but said individuals and not clubs should be punished.

“We must punish the individuals involved, the criminals, and not perhaps entire clubs or communities,” he said.

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