FIFA Head Of Security Reveals Organized Criminal Gangs Targeting National Leagues
FIFA Head of Security Ralf Mutschke revealed that organized criminal gangs are targeting around 50 national football leagues for "possible match-fixing and any country is vulnerable regardless of its record on corruption," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Mutschke said that a convicted match-fixer had "personally told him at a secret meeting that the activity was preferred by many criminals to the drugs trade." Mutschke said, "I met a match-fixer, a convicted match-fixer, here in Zurich next to the zoo and he told me organised crime is moving out of the drug trade and getting involved in match-fixing because of low risk and high profit." Match-fixing has become a "huge concern" for football's authorities recently as criminal gambling rings pay players, referees or officials to "manipulate matches and make enormous amounts of money by betting on the outcome." Mutschke added that in some cases national leagues and confederations had been "infiltrated to the point where referees were able to boost their careers by taking part in manipulation." Mutschke said match-fixers would "sometimes approach players, referees or officials out of the blue." Mutschke: "You have a 50%chance of acceptance and what upsets me is that it demonstrates to me that they have no fear of us because nobody is reporting these approaches" (REUTERS, 1/16).