UEFA chief Michel Platini on Friday said European football’s governing body has the Latvian game under the corruption microscope, in the wake of a match-fixing scandal which saw a club axed from the top flight.
“UEFA decided two years ago to invest in a system to prevent this big flaw that is match-fixing corruption,” Platini said in response to reporters’ questions in the Latvian capital Riga, where he was attending the Baltic state’s Euro 2012 Group F qualifier against Croatia.
“With the early-warning system, with police help which we receive from many countries, we have information about what is happening in football, and that is passed to national associations,” the UEFA chief said.
“We take this problem very seriously. I asked the prime minister and the national association to help fight against the corruption of match-fixing. We are not the police, but it is our job to protect the game,” he added.
In October 2009, the Latvian Football Federation kicked southern club Dinaburg out of the 10-team, top-tier Virsliga for repeated match-fixing.
The disgraced club’s player-manager and president received life bans from any involvement in Latvian football.
The expulsion capped long-running suspicions of match-fixing which had swirled around Dinaburg, in the spotlight since 2005, who had been warned by the Latvian federation to clean up their act.
In 2007 they were kicked out of the Baltic League, which pits top clubs from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, amid accusations of throwing a match.
Latvian federation head Guntis Indriksons on Friday told reporters match-fixing would not be tolerated.
“If we have information from UEFA or FIFA, if we have information from players, or coaches or law enforcement authorities, or if journalists write about it, our decision will be the same as before,” he said.
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