FIFA launches match-fixing hotline

The global soccer community can now make anonymous tips of match-fixing and corruption on a new FIFA web page.

The governing body shrewdly set up the hotline ahead of Monday’s bombshell announcement by European police organization Europol which found 680 suspicious matches including World Cup, Champions League and European Championship matches.

With its own internal problems of corruption and bribery still fresh in the minds of many soccer fans its move to set up its hotline ahead of the Europol announcement seems opportunistic at best.

Though to its credit FIFA has quite openly tried to combat match-fixing by encouraging national governments to tackle the problem of organized crime’s influence in domestic leagues as well as international competition.

“Infringements of the FIFA code of ethics, and violations of FIFA’s  regulatory framework relating to match  manipulation can be securely reported and treated with the strictest  confidentiality,” a statement by FIFA said. “The reporting mechanism will enable individuals to notify FIFA of potential  violations, another milestone in FIFA’s effort to strengthen football  governance.”

While FIFA guarantees 100 per cent confidentiality, the raises the question of whether the line could be manipulated by rival organized crime groups for blackmail or other manipulation.