Fiji Time: 6:24 AM on Tuesday 20 March

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Stop the fix

Maciu Malo
Thursday, February 27, 2014

MATCH-fixing will affect the growth of soccer in small soccer nations like Fiji, says Interpol program manager Julie Norris.

She made the comment during an interview at the "Preventing match-fixing and corruption focus of INTERPOL-FIFA conference for Oceania region" in Nadi yesterday.

Norris said Interpol had teamed up with FIFA to prevent match-fixing at all levels of soccer.

She said it was important for soccer-growing countries like Fiji to be educated on match-fixing rules and guidelines to sustain the growth of the sport.

"The initiative of this education workshop is to prevent match-fixing," Morris said.

"Fiji Football is growing and in order to maintain the growth, we need workshops such as this to educate stakeholders on the actions to take to prevent match-fixing."

FIFA security manager (stadium and integrity affairs) Nicholas Raudenski said FIFA had formed a 10-year partnership to tackle match fixing.

"It is well- known that not a single agency can address the issues, football can't do it, police can't do it, but we need to work together to prevent match-fixing.

"Partnership is the most important as well as bringing police partners to the table as sometimes district officials don't know where to turn, so it is important to bring the police in and establish a partnership.

Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar admitted match fixing-doesn't exist in Fiji but there had been allegations of soccer matching by various districts in previous years.

He said the workshop was important for Fiji FA and would help the development of soccer in Fiji.

"The workshop is very useful even though it is not occurring in our country," said Kumar.

"But sooner or later it might come, so this workshop is very useful and it important to educate our people as well.

"Match-fixing is a criminal act and people involved will be reported to the police.

"Therefore, district officials should keep their ears and eyes open. If there is anything they know, it must be reported to us and police."

Sports Minister Vilame Naupoto said: "The relevant sports stakeholders in Fiji are looking forward to the outcome and recommendations of this conference, and will certainly use them to put in place or enhance existing mechanisms that are more effective in fighting against this threat and help maintain and preserve the integrity and beauty of sports."

The two-day workshop attracted close to 100 regional football administrators, player associations, referees, football club owners, government agencies and police officials from 11 countries across the region.

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