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Sepp Blatter says FIFA has dealt with match-fixing

February 07, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter (Anatoly Maltsev / EPA )

Much ado about nothing.

That wasn't exactly Sepp Blatter's reaction to Europol's report of what the law enforcement agency said were 680 "suspicious" soccer matches over the last 18 months, but it was the bullet point.

"Most of the matches which they put in this tray, 600 or 800, have already been analyzed, dealt with and even were at court," Blatter, head of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Europol, the police liaison agency for the European Union, said it knew of 380 suspicious matches played in Europe in recent years and 300 more worldwide. Included among them were a handful of World Cup qualifiers and European Championship games, some of those under FIFA's jurisdiction.

Blatter, however, is right when says many of those are old news. Prosecutors in a number of countries have already brought charges in cases that involved hundreds of suspicious matches around the world.

But Blatter also conceded that match-fixing was "pure delinquency" and presented a serious danger to the sport.

"We're fighting against that," he said. "Because if the matches are fixed, there's no more interest in going to watch football.:

However, he said, much of the responsibility for repairing that goes not to FIFA but to individual governments that should change their laws to help soccer prosecute match-fixing cases.

Blatter's comments came a day after FIFA launched a website for whistle-blowers to report suspicions of fixing and corruption among the organization's 209 member nations.


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