European football’s governing body UEFA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Union's law enforcement agency Europol to cooperate in a bid to stamp out match-fixing.
The MoU will see the association share resources and be in constant consultation over match-fixing and related organised crime, as well as sharing expertise on each area.
UEFA and Europol will also cooperate in running joint activities and implementing relevant projects as part of the anti-match-fixing campaign. The two will also share information on the methods used by those looking to influence the outcome of matches.
Europol will also provide expert assistance and advice to UEFA and its 54 member associations on aspects of contemporary criminal organisations in the area of match-fixing.
The MoU was signed yesterday at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland, by UEFA president Michel Platini and Europol director Rob Wainwright.
“Match-fixing is not a fantasy, it is a reality - a sad and serious reality,” Platini said. “UEFA and its member associations know that football authorities do not have the means to deal with this problem by themselves. Therefore I am extremely happy to have the support of Europol. By joining forces, we will have more power.”
Wainwright described the MoU as an important step that showed Europol’s desire to do as much as it possibly could to stamp out match-fixing.
“It sends an important message to organised criminal groups that football and law enforcement are united in seeking to protect one of the world's premier sports,” he explained.
Platini added that he had prioritised tackling match-fixing since his election to the UEFA presidency in 2007.
“We have to do everything to preserve the integrity of our games,” he said. “Football has to be transparent, and maintain the magic of being a truly unpredictable game.”
UEFA has adopted a zeo-tolerance policy towards match-fixing, handing down lifetime bans to those found guilty, while clubs suspected of being involved in the practice have been banned from competing in competitions earned by the governing body.