Interpol joins football fight against match-fixing and betting scams - Tuesday 8th of December 2009

Interpol, the European policing network, is to create an international task force to fight the shadowy world of 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 a major European match-scam.

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.

FIFA’s executive discussed the crisis at an extraordinary meeting in Cape Town today ahead of the World Cup draw here on Friday. Most of the meeting was taken up with match control issues but the betting scam was also considered.

Later 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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