January 22, 2013 - 16:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino has emphasised UEFA's determination to fight match-fixing and corruption in football, UEFA official website reported.
In an address at a conference in Rome on Integrity in Sport, organised by Interpol and world football's governing body FIFA, Mr Infantino reiterated UEFA's call for widespread cooperation between sports and state bodies to eradicate from football what he described as a "cancer" posing a real threat to the game's integrity.
"We cannot and will not allow our game to be contaminated by criminals who have nothing but financial gain in mind," Mr Infantino told UEFA.com ahead of the conference. "Football, as you know, is a game based on fair competition between participants played to an agreed set of rules. The integrity of our sport, as well as the physical and emotional well-being of both players and match officials, are being severely undermined by these individuals who have direct links to organised criminal groups in both Asia and Europe.
"We are committed to maintaining our sport's integrity," he added. "With our continued programme of education for players, match officials and coaches, our sophisticated monitoring systems and our close links with law enforcement agencies and state authorities, under no circumstances will we surrender to match-fixers."
"We cannot win this battle alone, and we recognise the need for close collaboration with all the members of the football family and other sporting bodies, whose goal it is to see the true values of football prevail. We very much count on their support."