“No referee fixed any match,” says Avi Luzon. (Getty Images)
Israeli Football Boss Under Investigation
Avi Luzon is the latest Israeli football official to be questioned as part of an ongoing match-fixing probe.
According to an AP report, police in Jerusalem quizzed the Israel Football Association chairman for eight hours on suspicions of fraud, breach of trust and abuse of power.
Investigators want to know whether referees were assigned to certain matches so as to influence their results.
“At the end of this investigation, I can promise that Israeli soccer is clean, as is the chairman of the IFA,” Luzon was quoted Monday by Army Radio.
“I can say with all certainty that no referee fixed any match.”
Luzon, 56, a member of UEFA’s executive committee, joins dozens of Israeli football officials, players and referees to have already been interrogated by police.
Witness Protection Vows from FIFA
FIFA’s security chief claims the crisis-hit governing body will soon double down on its fight against match-fixing in world football.
“A compliance hotline will be introduced from February 1, an amnesty-consideration procedure is available for three months from February 1 and a whistle-blower policy protecting information and informers will apply throughout the year,” security head Chris Eaton was quoted by DPA.
“We will take action and we will protect” witnesses, he added.
His comments followed a meeting about match-fixing at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters on Tuesday.
Match-fixing investigations in Asian football and in Italy and Turkey have sullied football’s reputation in the past year.
Last May, FIFA signed
an agreement with Interpol that provides $29 million over 10 years to fight illegal betting and match-fixing. A new FIFA anti-corruption unit was also created at Interpol’s global headquarters in Singapore.
According to Eaton, players are intimidated by crime syndicates into cooperating with their betting schemes and have even been killed to protect what has become a global multi-billion dollar business.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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