Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop says there are no issues of integrity surrounding any particular A-League fixture.
Gallop also repeatedly referred to the fact that football was not mentioned in the damning report from the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), which stated that doping, match-fixing and organised crime links were rife in Australian sport.
Speculation surrounded an A-League fixture, reportedly staged in Melbourne, in which a whopping $40 million – the entire value of one year in the FFA’s new TV rights deal – is alleged to have been wagered on the outcome.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said the bets were placed with an Asian-based bookmaker.
But Gallop moved to ease fears that football was in the firing line of the ACC when speaking before and during Melbourne Heart’s ‘Heart of Business’ lunch on Friday.
“There is no investigation into any A-League match by any authority,” Gallop said.
“Our surveillance agency, Sports Radar, have confirmed to us overnight that they have no integrity concerns regarding any A-League match.
“There’s been no suggestion that football has concerns … the (ACC) report says that two codes have been investigated … but nothing has been brought to football at this stage.
“Having said that, there are issues of concern for Australian sport. And we need a speedy resolution to these issues.”
Gallop said he will support strict punishment for those found to have been doing the wrong thing but re-iterated his point that the problem needed to be fixed as soon as possible.
“If people have been involved in the practices that were mentioned yesterday (doping, match-fixing and links to organised crime) then they need to be punished and weeded out,” he said.
“But the sooner we know the actual facts, the better. The vast majority of sportspeople, players and officials are doing the right thing so one way or another, we need to get the actual facts on the table in a speedy way.
“I understand they have got some issues around confidentiality and disclosure but we do need to get the facts out because people deserve to see answers as quickly as possible. We need to get things cleared up.
“All sports are concerned about these issues. That’s why you have a rigorous testing programme in place. That’s why you educate your players. That’s why you have penalty regimes in place so that those who do run that risk know that the penalties will be severe.”
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