Former Australia international-turned-pundit Robbie Slater believes any competition could have been affected by the match-fixing scandal rocking football - including the A-League
|By ADAM LUCIUS
Ex-Australia international Robbie Slater is not ruling out the possibility Australia will be caught up in the match-fixing scandal rocking world football.
Europol has nominated 15 countries as central to a sophisticated rigging scheme that involves up to 425 players, referees and officials across 380 matches, all allegedly controlled by an Asia-based betting syndicate.
Champions League games and World Cup qualifiers are among the fixtures being investigated.
Slater, who was playing in France for Lens when Marseille were sensationally dumped from the first division for attempted match fixing in 1994, doubts the A-League will be implicated.
But he is not native enough to dismiss the possibility entirely.
"You would love to think in Australia we are good sports and you'd love to think that's the case," Slater told Fox Sports on Tuesday.
"We're a very new league [and] I'd be surprised if anything's gone on here but when you look at the amount of competitions that have been mentioned, you can't rule anything out."
"I think anyone can [be caught up in it].
"What my experience in France made me realise is it can happen to anyone, so it's not exclusive to one country."
Regardless of whether Australia is involved in the scandal, Slater - now a football pundit - fears for the game's reputation.
"Australians don't like cheats," he said.
"If it's that deep, it can certainly have an effect on us."
Europol director Rob Wainwright labelled the investigation the "biggest-ever" into suspected match fixing.
"It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football," he said.