The beautiful game of football has witnessed series of match fixing scandals in recent years, a development which has threatened the fairness of the game. As the 2014 world cup draws closer, FIFA is putting all modalities in place to ensure that the tournament is free from all form of shady deals.
For the first time at football’s biggest tournament, FIFA has announced that players from all 32 competing nations will be given “integrity sessions” by FIFA officials, when they will be told to report anything suspicious via a special anti-corruption hotline available only to players and referees.
FIFA’s head of security Ralf Mutschke in an interview yesterday said “FIFA, and in particular myself, has to make the presumption that the World Cup itself is under threat and implement the maximum protection for our competition as we can. We are trying to protect the World Cup from fixing and we have set up a pretty wide range of measures to do so.”
Mutschke added that measure to curb match-fixing in Brazil will also include intelligence-led targeting of high-risk players, referees and fixtures. “We are also indicating the players, the teams and their histories in fixing and making a risk assessment. Is it a group match, is it the first match, is it the end-of-a-group match or is it a final? This indicates the vulnerability,” he said.
All 64 games will be monitored like never before, with security agents at each of the 12 World Cup venues and forensic scrutiny of suspicious betting patterns, as well as social media.