LONDON (AFP) – The former head of security at FIFA is to work with Spanish football chiefs as they try to rid the sport of match-fixing, it was announced in London on Wednesday.
Spain’s Liga Nacional de Futbol Professional (LFP) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) said they’d signed a partnership agreement “with a specific focus on issues of match-fixing”.
Chris Eaton, the former head of security at FIFA, football’s world governing body, is now the director of sport integrity at ICSS and will head up their end of the partnership with the LFP.
In August, the president of the Spanish league said nine matches were currently being investigated on suspicion of possible match-fixing, including three in La Liga — the top division — with the other six in the second tier.
Two of the suspected matches — Girona v Xerez and Hercules v Racing Santander — were already being examined by Spanish courts.
Javier Tebas added “match-fixing is a cancer we must eliminate”.
Match-fixing is a crime in Spain and can lead to prison sentences for individuals or a club being banned from official competition.
“Sports integrity is an absolute priority for the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional and match fixing has been on my agenda since I became president,” Tebas said in Wednesday’s joint statement with ICSS.
“My aim is to find adequate solutions to reduce this phenomena and as such, we are dedicated to collaborate and act together with organisations such as the ICSS to enhance the fight against match fixing,” he added.
ICSS describes itself as “a Qatar-based international not-for-profit institution that aims to help event organisers to stage safer major sporting events.”
Eaton, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London, said: “We admire the LFP’s commitment to preserving integrity in sport and to ensuring that match-fixing is stamped out.
“It is important that football continues to be vigilant and develop strong policies that safeguard sport integrity.
“Our teams of experts in this field look forward to working with the LFP to support its ongoing endeavours to promote integrity.”