FIFA Fears Match-Fixers At World Cup Could Threaten Players' Lives
FIFA is "concerned for the lives of players approached by match-fixers, warning that they could pay the 'ultimate price,'" according to the BBC. FIFA claimed that "governments should be wary of the presence of criminal organisations in fixing" and the "staggering" sums of money involved. FIFA Head of Security Chris Eaton said, "We are very concerned about the safety of players [and] officials. There is anecdotal evidence that some players have been killed. Match-fixing is all about stealing money. It destroys the lives and careers of many people. Governments should be interested because the amount of money is truly staggering." FIFA will "open a hotline for whistleblowers in February and offer a temporary amnesty for players who admit to fixing and give evidence" (BBC, 1/10). The EFE reported FIFA Security Dir Ralf Mutschke said, "We have to recognize that organized crime organizations will try to manipulate World Cup matches. The World Cup has the highest volume of bets and guarantees the biggest winnings." Mutschke added that FIFA has "measures in place to combat organized crime at the 12 stadiums that will host matches." To avoid match-fixing, FIFA "is in contact with betting houses and is monitoring social networks" (EFE, 1/12).