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Fri Apr 18 07:44:44 SAST 2014

Interpol on scene after Asiagate

NICK SAID | 07 August, 2012 06:360 Comments
The official matchball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Image by: Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

INTERPOL is to join forces with Fifa in Johannesburg to help soccer authorities in the fight against match-fixing.

The two will host a workshop later this month on the latest trends in match-fixing and corruption in football.

More than 100 players have been suspended for allegedly throwing matches on tours to Asia following bribes by betting syndicates .

Representatives from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe will attend the workshop.

It is feared that betting syndicates may be targeting southern African teams.

All these countries have organised domestic competitions, but with the exception of South Africa, the majority of players perform at amateur level and earn modest salaries. This makes them vulnerable to offers from betting syndicates, who can tempt the players with relatively small amounts of money.

Those who have admitted to their involvement in the Asiagate scandal said they received just $1000 to throw a match.

That is a comparatively significant amount of money for players in the Zimbabwean League, most of whom receive around $150 per month.

The workshop, to be held on August 25 and 26, will be attended by high-ranking officials from Fifa's security division, legal department and Early Warning System programme, which tracks unusual patterns in betting worldwide.

Delegates - including regional football administrators, player and referee representatives, betting regulators and law enforcement officials - will be told what they can do from their side to curb match-fixing.

They will be given presentations on good governance and how to educate players about the dangers of corruption.

Interpol has established an "Integrity in Sport" division in France to intensify its attempts to eradicate fraudulent activity in sports betting.

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