No law change over match-fixing says minister
8:23am Thursday 12th December 2013 in Sport
SPORTS minister Helen Grant does not believe the law needs changing to make match-fixing a specific criminal offence.
Grant raised the issue at a meeting of senior officials from the ‘big five’ sports – football, cricket, tennis and the two rugby codes – who attended a summit with ministers in Whitehall for talks on tackling fixing.
The summit followed the arrest of six people, including Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell, following an investigation into alleged spot-fixing in football by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The European Parliament wants fixing to be made a specific criminal offence, rather than rely on laws dealing with fraud or cheating at gambling, and UEFA president Michel Platini is also backing that campaign.
But Grant said: “My view is that the laws are there, but it’s not just the law that fixes this problem – there are a lot of other things to be done.
“The legislation is already pretty robust with criminal offences for fraud, bribery, corruption and cheating at gambling.”
The sports agreed to consider setting up a hotline for players from all different sports to report approaches or information – currently the sports each have their own reporting systems.
“I will look at anything to eradicate this awful practice,” added Grant. “If a unified reporting mechanism is going to make it easier for people to come forward then and provide information about cheats then we should look at it.”
Grant said the meeting been “hugely constructive”.
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