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Kuala Lumpur: INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has urged the global football community to cooperate better and step up their efforts against match-fixing and corruption.

 

Addressing the delegates of the INTERPOL International Conference – Match-Fixing: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game on Thursday, Noble expressed concerns over the use of old laws and practices in countries.

“What really distresses me is that while match fixers use modern technology to carry out their activities, we are still using centuries-old laws and practices to fight this crime against the game of football and this makes us fall behind,” Noble said in his closing keynote address.

“Therefore, I would like to call upon all parties concerned to change their worldwide view of corruption and match-fixing. We need to work not only nationally but also on the regional and global level to prevent these issues through education, prevention, capacity building and deterrence. We should make prevention a priority.

“We also require change in laws and the mentality of people and we should stop treating others as counterparts but instead as colleagues in the fight against this menace in football.

“We should now move faster and coordinate things faster and allow the sharing of information between parties, including the football community, in a real-time manner. The sharing of information should be made with all the parties concerned.”

Noble also commended China and Singapore authorities for taking strong initiatives against match-fixing that would provide an example for others.

“Special commendations should go to the authorities in China and Singapore for their recent actions against match fixers,” he said. “I’m sure this would provide an example for others in the fight against corruption in the game.”

FIFA Director of Security Ralf Mutschke called on all the stakeholders to bring their specialties to the table in the fight against match manipulation.

“From this conference, we can conclude that match-fixing is a real threat not only for one country but to the global community and there’s not one single solution or quick fix to this problem,” he said.

“Rather than getting frustrated or giving up, we should be further encouraged to work closer together to fight these problems to reach our common goal. We all have our own specialties and tasks, so let’s contribute together to eradicate match manipulation from our beautiful game.”

MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdul emphasised the message that crime does not pay.

“The problem of match-fixing is not confined to Asia only but the whole world and we have been cooperating closely with the football association and law enforcement,” he said.

“We would like to drive the message to everyone that crime does not pay. Match-fixing takes the beauty out of the game and cheats die-hard fans of fair play.”

The conference was organised by INTERPOL within the framework of the INTERPOL/ FIFA Training, Education and Prevention Initiative, with the active support of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), FIFA and the AFC.

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