Just days before the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the European Parliament issued an anti-corruption warning.
The regulatory body supervising online sports betting has highlighted some 460 potentially corrupt football matches in the recently finished European football championships.
Marc Tarabella, a Belgian centre-left MEP is pleased with the outcome.
“In previous World Cups, such as the 2010 tournament, we have just revealed that there may have been some match fixing,” he said. “I am extremely pleased that FIFA – thanks to the FederBet online betting foundation – will monitor all parties involved in the World Cup finals, in order to detect whether certain parties could be taking part in illicit bets.”
It is a contagious virus in the world of football. Fixed matches are suspected of taking place in the first and second division championships in Italy, France, Portugal and the Netherlands, to name a few.
The preliminary stages of the Champions League are also under scrutiny.
FederBet’s director, Francesco Baranca, has called on UEFA to react.
“We need to react now,” he said. “Because, if we don’t we won’t be able to stop the virus, because the players will lose faith in our ability to control it.”
The Spanish football league has decided to take action by setting up a training programme for professional footballers and young players, in collaboration with the police.
The Director of Integrity for the league, Manuel Quintana, told euronews: “During the training session, the police warn the footballers that match fixing is an offence, liable to up to four years in prison.”
To restrict illicit betting, the European Parliament has secured a ban on betting on youth matches. But to clean up football altogether, some MEPs would like much stronger cooperation on an international level.