The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has hit out at television production company Creatieve Communicatie en Content Productie (CCCP) over its attempt to coerce players into match-fixing.
An unnamed player contacted the KNVB back in December after he was approached to influence the outcome of matches, prompting the Dutch governing body to report the matter to the public prosecutor (OM).
The OM consequently launched an investigation into the match-fixing attempts, which led them to reporters from investigative journalism show RamBam, who have drawn the ire of the KNVB.
“We first heard about this in early December when a player called us,” a spokesperson for the KNVB told De Telegraaf.
“We have previously told players to always get in touch if they are approached for something like this.
“The good thing here is that the KNVB was approached by said player. We then got in touch with the public prosecutor and that got things going.
“This shows that reporting something like this can lead to exposing the people who approached a player. The public prosecutor eventually ended up at the production company CCCP.
“There’s a difference between trying to expose someone who has actually been fixing matches and randomly calling players and try to convince them to throw a game.
“In the first case, you are helping solving a problem, but you are actually the problem itself in the second case.
“There is no difference between attempted match-fixing by criminals or by TV producers. It’s about manipulating games, which hurts the integrity of the sport. We called CCCP to discuss the matter and will send them a mail to tell them to stop approaching players.
“We don’t know whether any players took the bait. It would obviously be lamentable if someone was open to fixing a match.
“But we also know there are players who could be tempted. We know all about previous cases. We don’t need a TV show for that.
“A player is very much in the wrong if he takes the bait, but making a TV show about it would hurt him for the rest of his life. We have our doubts about this method.
“Again, it would be different if they actually exposed someone who was already guilty of match-fixing. The public prosecutor is looking into the matter and we are considering taking legal action.”