FIFA chief Blatter says impossible to stop cheats

NOUAKCHOTT Thu Feb 7, 2013 7:30pm IST

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference in St. Petersburg January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference in St. Petersburg January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk

Related Topics

NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - The head of world soccer governing body FIFA said on Thursday that cheats would always exist in the sport and it would be impossible to stop them, after revelations of a global match-fixing scandal this week.

European police revealed on Monday that about 680 suspicious matches, including qualifiers for the World Cup and European championship and the Champions League, had been identified in a match-fixing inquiry.

"We are in a game and in a game there are always cheats. The cheats will never be stopped," Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, told a news conference in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Blatter is on a four-nation tour of Africa before Sunday's African Nations Cup final in South Africa.

He said the allegation of match-fixing and manipulation of soccer results were not new.

"We know that there are games that are manipulated and we also know that it is very, very difficult to get the organisations (behind them) and especially the cheats," Blatter said in French.

"This is a serious danger. If games are rigged, there is no more interest in watching football," he said.

However, Blatter added that most of the matches cited in the European investigation had already been uncovered and some of the cases were in court.

The allegation is the latest in a series of corruption scandals that have wracked the world soccer body.

FIFA said on Wednesday it had launched a web page to enable individuals to make anonymous reports of corruption by officials and attempts at match-fixing.

But Blatter said even FIFA's "early warning system" was far from effective in curbing the problem and there was no legislation to punish the people behind the scams that are threatening the global game.

"There is virtually no legislation that allows countries to condemn these people, because some of this is done electronically using computers," he said.

(Reporting by Laurent Prieur; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alison Wildey)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Focus on sectors which will build India: Ambareesh Baliga.  Full Article 

FMC-SEBI Merger

FMC-SEBI Merger

Regulatory shakeup could revive commodities markets   Full Article 

Tax Incentives

Tax Incentives

Budget woos foreign investors  Full Article 

Excise Duty

Excise Duty

Cigarette makers fall after budget hikes excise duty  Full Article 

Welcoming the Budget

Welcoming the Budget

India Inc cheers corporate tax cut, simpler rules  Full Article 

Gold Price

Gold Price

Gold prices to rise after budget keeps import duty high  Full Article 

Fuel Prices

Fuel Prices

IOC to raise diesel, petrol prices from Sunday  Full Article 

Moody's on Budget

Moody's on Budget

Budget "credit neutral" from a ratings perspective - Moody's   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage