FIFA corruption-buster Ralf Mutschke has warned that soccer’s world governing body will do all in its power to ensure that match-fixing by mafia gangs does not ruin the 2014 World Cup.
Mutschke, a former Interpol executive and a police officer for 30 years, said the problem of corruption is global and exists at all levels of the game, including the World Cup which gets underway in Brazil on June 12.
“We must assume that organised crime gangs will also try to fix matches at the World Cup,” Mutschke told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday.
But Mutschke insisted that FIFA would be taking all the necessary measures to ensure that “everything is possible” if match-fixing is proven.
“We have security agents in the 12 stadiums. All World Cup matches will be monitored on the betting market,” he explained.
“We’re in contact with the bookmakers and are going through the social networks and specialised forums with a fine tooth comb.”
Highly-organised criminal networks are increasingly influential with 50 leagues outside of Europe being particularly vulnerable to the risks in lightly-policed competitions.
The international nature of the problem was highlighted by the case involving Singapore businessman Wilson Raj Perumal who was suspected of rigging games in several countries and was jailed in Finland in 2011.
His name was also cited in cases in South Africa and Zimbabwe.