'Impossible to stop cheats'

World soccer governing body FIFA’s chief  Sepp Blatter said on Thursday that cheats would always exist in the sport and it would be impossible to stop them, after revelations of a global match-fixing scandal this week.

European police revealed on Monday that about 680 suspicious matches, including qualifiers for the World Cup and European championship and the Champions League, had been identified in a match-fixing inquiry.

“We are in a game and in a game there are always cheats. The cheats will never be stopped,” Blatter, the FIFA president said.

Blatter is on a four-nation tour of Africa before Sunday’s African Nations Cup final in South Africa.
He said the allegation of match-fixing and manipulation of soccer results were not new. “We know that there are games that are manipulated and we also know that it is very, very difficult to get the organisations (behind them) and especially the cheats,” Blatter said in French. “This is a serious danger. If games are rigged, there is no more interest in watching football,” he said.

However, Blatter added that most of the matches cited in the European investigation had already been uncovered. The allegation is the latest in a series of corruption scandals that have wracked the world soccer body.

FIFA said on Wednesday it had launched a web page to enable individuals to make anonymous reports of corruption by officials and attempts at match-fixing.

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