By Philip O’Connor
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Norway’s preparations for the Women’s World Cup in France took a turn last week when the players were given a presentation about what to do if they are approached to fix a match.
The session took place at their pre-tournament training camp in Oslo at the behest of world governing body FIFA, who are insisting all 24 nations taking part in the World Cup inform their players of the risks involved.
Though it is considered highly unlikely that their players would be approached to fix a game at such a high-profile event, the players still need to be aware, the Norwegian FA’s legal advisor Emil Waters told Reuters.
“My experience is that the players and team leaders have a great understanding for the necessity of knowing about the problems related to match-fixing and other questions related to gambling,” Waters said.
“The information to the players was explained simply and based on the three headlines that FIFA have brought up. They are recognise and be alert to any approach, resist by saying no to match manipulation, and do your duty by reporting any approach.”
There have been several high-profile match-fixing trials in Nordic soccer leagues in recent years, with poorly-paid players in the lower divisions offered bribes by fixers.
Players in the women’s game earn a fraction of the wages of their male counterparts, leading to fears that they could be targeted.
“It’s important to be crystal-clear about the responsibilities one has, and the most important one is to report it if you are contacted by anyone seeking to affect a game,” Waters said.
The Women’s World Cup begins on June 7 when hosts France meet South Korea in Paris, with Group A rivals Norway taking on Nigeria the following day.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge)