WORLD NEWS

EU urges nations to unite against match-fixing

Sep 20, 2012, 6:04 PM

Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – European Union sports ministers sought Thursday to forge a united front against match-fixing to combat what they consider one of the most serious threats to modern sports.

At a meeting in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, they called for “dissuasive, effective and proportionate” criminal and disciplinary sanctions against offenders, especially in serious, cross-border cases.

They urged increased coordination on a European and international level and improved cooperation between law enforcement, governments, sports officials and betting operators.

They also urged improved monitoring to detect match-fixing cases and backed initiatives to raise awareness about the problem.

EU Sport Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said match-fixing has grown to such an extent that no country can avoid it or counter it alone.

“We’ve all agreed that we must unite forces … all authorities must cooperate in order to have results,” Vassiliou told a news conference. “No country is excluded … they may not have a problem this year, but they will arise the following year and beyond.”

Vassiliou said the EU isn’t now seeking to push for uniform, EU-wide legislation against match-fixing despite legal discrepancies in member countries. Instead, the EU is throwing its support behind a proposed Council of Europe convention aimed at establishing common anti-match fixing practices.

A string of recent soccer match-fixing scandals in countries such as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Israel and Finland has cast a shadow over the sport.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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EU urges nations to unite against match-fixing