Platini renews calls for sports police force

UEFA president Michel Platini renewed his call for the formation of a European sports police force on Friday, telling delegates at the opening of the UEFA Congress he was upset that his appeal for one had been ignored for six years.

"Six years ago now, in response to...problems of betting, corruption and match-fixing, as well as the problems of hooliganism and doping, I called for the establishment of a European sports police force," Platini said.

"There has been no response to those calls so far. Given the absence of any reaction and the lack of awareness on the part of politicians, I renew that call today."

Platini, addressing delegates from UEFA's 53 member nations, said the issues of match-fixing and betting, discrimination and the financial troubles of many clubs were "poisoning football from within" and a sports police force would help the game to deal with its problems. "If, by misfortune, this call again falls on deaf ears, I ask that each country, at the very least, adopts specific provisions of national legislation addressing the issue of match-fixing in order to finally have the legal tools necessary to rigorously punish these cheats," he added, saying only some 10 countries had already adopted measures.

On match-fixing, Platini said: "We are protecting our sport from this scourge with all the means at our disposal but, unfortunately, that is sometimes not enough.

"We are not dealing with petty criminals who are looking to make ends meet; it would seem that we are, in some instances, dealing with the mafia.

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