Platini warns of 'mafia-type organisations' behind match-fixing

The Uefa president has called for the introduction of a European sports police force as he aims to fight corruption within the game
Uefa president Michel Platini has urged member nations to introduce the necessary legal tools to fight match-fixing as he feels a European sports police force is needed to keep football clean.

Europol revealed earlier this year that match-fixing is rife in football as criminal syndicates from Asia have been trying to influence the results of games around the world and the Frenchman is determined to take action against corruption within the game.

"We are dealing with mafia-type organisations that are using certain matches to launder money," Platini said at the Uefa congress in London.

"Uefa member nations should introduce the legal tools necessary to rigorously punish these cheats.

"The first is the issue of match-fixing and betting. We are protecting our sport from this scourge with all the means at our disposal, but, unfortunately, that is sometimes not enough…

"We are not dealing with petty criminals who are looking to make ends meet. Just one fixed match is one match too many, as it strikes at the soul of our sport, the very essence of the game.

"Six years after proposing a sports force there has been no response from European governments. Given the absence of any reaction and the lack of awareness on the part of politicians, I renew that call."
Europol revealed in February that more than 380 professional matches in Europe, from the German fourth division to European Championship and World Cup qualifiers, had been fixed, while an additional 300 matches played in Africa, Asia and Central and South America were suspicious.