Near impossible travel conditions, a shortage of hotels, stadium structural issues and, of course, the occasional beheading, we can now add match-fixing to the list of issues heading into World Cup 2014.
At least, that’s what FIFA security chief Ralf Mutschke is saying.
Mutschke, a former Interpol director and senior manager at the German Federal Criminal Police Office, explained the situation to German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“We must clearly assume that organized crime will try and fix matches at the World Cup,” he said. “At this event, bets will be placed at a great rate and a large profit will be made.”
Mutschke, however, has a plan to prevent such fixing: “We will have security officers in all 12 World Cup stadiums. We will monitor all matches on the betting market, we will be in contact with all bookmakers, screen the social networks and the relevant boards for hints. We will analyze individual plays during games.”
So, just how serious is Mutschke about ensuring the matches aren’t fixed? If he and his team have enough information to suggest foul-play surrounds a match, they could call it off. “Everything is possible,” he said.
Mutschke’s sights have been set on match-fixing for some time now. Just last year he announced the need for greater cooperation between law enforcement agencies and sports’ governing bodies in order to cleanse the issue, advocating tougher policies and harsher sanctions (such as lifetime bans) for violators.