Acting AFC President Zhang Jilong calls for joint efforts to fight match fixing

In a speech attended by both Fifa and Interpol, the AFC's acting chief emphasised the need for all involved in the sport to remain vigilant in the wake of recent scandals
Addressing a conference co-hosted by Interpol and FIFA, acting Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Zhang Jilong on Wednesday called on the stakeholders of Asian football to work closely with each other to address major concerns of match-fixing in football.

The two-day seminar entitled "Match-fixing: The ugly side of the beautiful game," a co-operative endeavour with FIFA, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), began on Wednesday with over 150 delegates representing over 40 AFC member associations, law enforcement personnel, and betting industry members in attendance.

"It is well known that AFC has zero tolerance for match-fixing," Jilong said in his remarks. "We have been working together with FIFA and our member associations to tackle this serious problem for some time now.

"We need to admit that match-fixing is a real danger to football’s ethical values and needs to be eliminated to preserve the sanctity of the sport. I can assure this conference that AFC will not rest until this plague is completely stamped out in Asia."

Jilong also stressed that the confederation will provide assistance in educating the stakeholders of Asian football on the seriousness of match fixing.

He said: "The AFC will educate the players, officials and all stakeholders on raising awareness about this serious issue. We need to understand how match-fixing works in order to prevent it. We need more information on how crime syndicates operate.

"It is in everybody’s interests to launch a cooperative effort to save the sport’s significance. I believe this conference is the right first step in bringing together all well wishers of the game on the same platform. We have a big stake in seeing our game survive. We want the results of our matches to be beyond the shred of a doubt," Jilong added.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)  has reiterated that all of its stakeholders need to work together to report allegations of match-fixing to the national body, on top of lodging reports with the police and the MACC.

“Match-fixing is a serious threat to football," FAM General Secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said before the conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"We have to work hand-in-hand to curb this issue."