Match-Fixing, discrimination and financial excess could endanger the future of football warns UEFA chief.
Michel Platini, the president of European football’s governing body UEFA, on Friday called for action against the three dangers threatening football: match-fixing, discrimination and financial excess.
“The main problem is match-fixing and betting,” said Platini at the UEFA congress in London.
“Our match monitoring systems and network of integrity officers in each country are of course useful and even essential, but they are not enough.
“We are not dealing with petty criminals looking to make ends meet.
“It seems that we are in some cases dealing with mafia-type organisations that use some games, and therefore our sport, to launder dirty money.
“One game rigged is one match too many, as it strikes at the soul of our sport, the very essence of the game.
“I ask at least that each country adopts a specific national law on match-fixing to finally provide the necessary legal tools to condemn uncompromising cheats.”
In his speech, Platini also tackled “the recurrent problem of discrimination, whether racial or sexual, which still exists in football.”
Beyond “prevention and education,” the French UEFA president also stressed the need for sanctions.
Later on Friday, the UEFA Congress will vote on a resolution strengthening sanctions against the perpetrators of racist acts in stadiums, whether they are players, officials or supporters.
Platini also put UEFA’s Financial Fair Play scheme in the spotlight and spoke of the worrying financial situation at certain clubs in Europe.
“To ensure that the current system doesn’t collapse and the bubble doesn’t burst, it is the duty of UEFA to intervene and it shall be the duty of independent bodies to punish the few clubs who have not realised that football cannot live above its means,” he insisted.