UEFA announced after its Executive Committee meeting in Ljubljana last month that it would be undertaking a feasibility study regarding the fight against match-fixing in European football.
The aim of the feasibility study is to examine ways to enhance football’s capacity to investigate and prosecute match-fixing cases by bringing UEFA closer to public authorities, national police, governments and state prosecutors.
Any new organisation would complement existing structures, such as the Council of Europe’s Macolin Convention, EUROPOL, ICPO-Interpol as well as other frameworks, and would aim to co-operate with other sporting bodies and governments in a focused, coordinated, and centralised way across the countries of UEFA’s 55 national associations.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said, “We must do more to fight match-fixing aggressively because collectively and individually, we haven’t done enough. The most important thing is co-operation with governments because our problem always was and always is that, even if we know many things, each case has to be prosecuted.
“The main problem is that our jurisdiction ends at football. We cannot tap phones, we cannot put people in prison, and with many computer servers being 10,000km from Europe, it’s a problem we cannot solve on our own. This study will look at how to bring together the different actors on this stage, so we are all working in partnership, not isolation, to tackle one of the biggest threats to the integrity of sport.”
The problem of match-fixing has increased in recent years and, despite the excellent work done, the capacity of UEFA and other sports bodies to fight it has not grown in line with the threat.
Sport leaders have repeatedly stated that sport itself does not have the means to effectively counter match-fixing – only state authorities do.
UEFA believes that there are various reasons why the fight against match-fixing needs to be strengthened. This feasibility study aims to address these challenges.