Match fixing 'devil in game', says Blatter

NICOLA ABERCROMBIE IN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN
Last updated 08:55 23/09/2012
Sepp Blatter
Getty Images
SEPP BLATTER: "This is coming from illegal betting and because of the popularity of the sport otherwise if it was not popular it would not happen."

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned of the significant challenges match fixing is presenting to world football while speaking at a private press conference at the under-17 Women's World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Blatter said illegal betting was the "devil in our game" and called for a lifetime ban for those caught with "no exceptions".

"The essence of sport, the essence of the game is that you don't know the issue before it starts. That's the basic condition to have and if you know before the game starts ... who will be the winner then something is totally wrong.

"This is coming from illegal betting and because of the popularity of the sport otherwise if it was not popular it would not happen.

"How can we fight? By the police, by the official investigations and everybody is helping that."

Blatter also said the corruption was not in football but "in our society, it is everywhere".

He was particularly concerned with the level of match fixing in lower league games, indicating it was more popular there as people thought there was less chance of being caught.

Blatter also said the use of technology in football will be restricted to goal-line technology only, ruling out the possibility of systems such as video referrals which are used in other sports.

"Technology in football is strictly only for the goal line technology and it is not compulsory," he said. "Any other technology would just kill the interest of the fans."

The first goal-line technology trials will take place in Tokyo in December at the World Club Championships.

Blatter is in Azerbaijan to open the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup which is taking place in the capital Baku from September 22 - October 14.

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- Fairfax Media

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