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UEFA wants uniform European action against match-fixing

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino attends a news conference during the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Istanbul March 21, 2012. RE
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino attends a news conference during the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Istanbul March 21, 2012. RE

(Reuters) - UEFA wants consistent sanctions against match-fixing across Europe and has drafted an 11-point plan to help make that happen, general secretary Gianni Infantino said on Thursday.

"For UEFA, the fight against match-fixing is a top priority but it is important that all over Europe there is as uniform an approach as possible against it," he told reporters after a meeting of UEFA's executive committee in Bilbao, Spain.

It was important for European soccer's governing body to have concrete and effective policies to fight any possible match-fixing which must be met with harsh sanctions, he added.

The draft plan will be sent to all 54 European FAs calling on them to agree consistent proposals to put before the UEFA Congress in Astana, Kazakhstan in March for approval.

"It cannot be that in one country you have one sanction and another one in a different country for the same offence which goes straight into the soul of football," Infantino said.

"We also want to strengthen the effective partnership between sports bodies and state authorities which is crucial in the fight against match-fixing."

He noted that UEFA monitored 32,000 matches a year including all first and second division games and 0.7 per cent of these presented some suspicion which was a low number.

"But even one match fixed is one match too many and we have to fight against this in the most efficient way," Infantino added without detailing the 11 points in the draft plan.

"UEFA has excluded from its competitions this year two teams from Turkey and one from Ukraine because of matches which were fixed at national level not European level.

"We have also suspended an Armenian referee for life on attempted match-fixing so long suspensions, life bans for individuals involved have been approved.

"Sanctions must be very, very harsh," he added.

(Writing by Tony Goodson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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