UEFA Sign MOU with Europol to Combat Match-Fixing

By Community | May 27, 2014

European soccer body UEFA and the European Union law enforcement agency Europol have formally joined forces in the campaign to stop match-fixing by signing a memorandum of understanding at the House of European Football in Nyon.

After signing the memorandum, which steps up mutual cooperation and exchanges between the two bodies, both UEFA President Michel Platini and Europol director Rob Wainwright sent out a firm message of total commitment to safeguarding football’s essential integrity and punishing those found guilty of match-fixing offences.

“Today is a very important and even decisive step with the signing of an official agreement between UEFA and EUROPOL,” said Mr Platini.

“This fight is a priority for UEFA and it is also a personal fight,” he added. “I am a former player and I know that match-fixing is the worst scourge that can exist in football, because the soul of our sport is affected. Now we are going to work hand in hand with EUROPOL – we are united by our common will to fight as efficiently as possible against this menace.

“If tomorrow you attend football matches where you already know the final result, then the game is dead,” Mr Platini told UEFA.com. “If you go to games knowing the final result, there’s no interest any more. So it’s our role to protect [the] game … I am warning the players, I am warning the referees, I am warning the officials … the first one who doesn’t follow the guidelines to protect football, it will then be zero tolerance for me, he will have to leave [the world of] football.”

“I’m very pleased to be here alongside the President of UEFA to send the same common message that we are determined to fight football match-fixing wherever it arises, to make sure that we can protect this beautiful game,” said Mr Wainwright. “Unfortunately there have been signs in recent years that organised crime syndicates are trying to manipulate football matches to generate illegal income. Europol is determined to crack down on this problem to make sure that we can protect the game.

“We are sending a clear message to the organised crime syndicates that they will be investigated, that they will be stopped, from affecting the integrity of this game,” he added. “That is why this agreement today between Europol and UEFA is so important, because it makes sure that the two organisations can combine forces, share expertise and share information to ensure that we have the best possible response to the threat of football match-fixing.”