International Sport

FIFA loses the man who led fight against match-fixing

Image: FIFA head of security Ralf Mutschke gestures during an interview with REUTERS at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, January 15, 2013.REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

ZURICH (Reuters) – The man who was leading FIFA’s fight against match-fixing has left his post, football’s world governing body said on Monday.

FIFA confirmed that former German police chief Ralf Mutschke, who had been their head of security for 3-1/2 years, had departed, without giving any further details.

Mutschke was senior manager at the German Federal criminal police office (BKA), where he had more than 30 years’ experience, and a former Interpol director before being appointed by FIFA in June 2012.

Mutschke travelled the world as FIFA attempted to clamp down on match-fixing, which is seen as a major threat to the sport.

He told Reuters last year that one of his priorities was to help national football associations set up integrity programmes to combat the threat of match-fixing.

For its own competitions, he said that FIFA monitored betting patterns, placed integrity managers in stadiums and briefed teams and officials on the threat.

Match-fixing is usually instigated by criminal gangs who bribe players or referees to manipulate a game and make thousands or millions of dollars by betting on the outcome.

Dozens of players have been banned around the world over the last few years, but criminal convictions for those who set up the fixes have been rare.

Last year, Interpol called off an agreement with FIFA after the worst corruption scandal in the global football body’s history in which 42 people, including ex-FIFA executive committee members, and entities were indicted in the United States.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Ken Ferris)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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