Kuala Lumpur, Feb 20 — Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has vowed to combat match fixing in Asian football, at a time when European football has been hit with the scandal.
“We need to admit that match-fixing is a real danger to football’s ethical values and needs to be eliminated to preserve the sanctity of the sport,” said AFC acting president Zhang Jilong Wednesday.
Zhang was addressing the opening ceremony here for Interpol’s international conference ‘Match fixing’: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game’, as part of the joint INTERPOL/FIFA Training, Education and Prevention initiative, co-organised by AFC and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), reports Xinhua.
Some 200 participants from law enforcement agencies, AFC member associations and the betting industry are attending the two-day conference to identify the tactics used by organised crime networks behind the global threat to the sport and boost prevention efforts.
“Your participation in this conference proves that we are ready to work hand-in-hand to eradicate this cancer from the game,” Zhang said.
“Match-fixing is too complex and widespread for one organisation to fight it alone. To fight this, we need a joint and coordinated effort.”
High on the conference agenda are current and anticipated future trends in match-fixing and irregular or illegal betting, as well as adverse influence of the Asian betting markets and organised crime on football, AFC said.
Participants are expected to identify current good practice, ways of enhancing good governance and the importance of protecting players. Initiatives in training, education, prevention and investigation are also key issues to be discussed.
Recent scandals involving European football matches, including European Champions League games, have brought the whole football industry to be on full alert.
AFC has since announced its full support to the investigations.