FIFA chief Blatter says impossible to stop cheats

Updated 08 February 2013
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FIFA chief Blatter says impossible to stop cheats

NOUAKCHOTT: The head of world soccer governing body FIFA said yesterday that cheats would always exist in the sport and it would be impossible to stop them, after revelations of a global match-fixing scandal this week.
European police revealed on Monday that about 680 suspicious matches, including qualifiers for the World Cup and European championship and the Champions League, had been identified in a match-fixing inquiry.
“We are in a game and in a game there are always cheats. The cheats will never be stopped,” Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, told a news conference in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Blatter is on a four-nation tour of Africa before Sunday’s African Nations Cup final in South Africa.
He said the allegation of match-fixing and manipulation of soccer results were not new.
“We know that there are games that are manipulated and we also know that it is very, very difficult to get the organizations (behind them) and especially the cheats,” Blatter said in French.
“This is a serious danger. If games are rigged, there is no more interest in watching football,” he said.
However, Blatter added that most of the matches cited in the European investigation had already been uncovered and some of the cases were in court.
The allegation is the latest in a series of corruption scandals that have wracked the world soccer body.
FIFA said on Wednesday it had launched a web page to enable individuals to make anonymous reports of corruption by officials and attempts at match-fixing.
But Blatter said even FIFA’s “early warning system” was far from effective in curbing the problem and there was no legislation to punish the people behind the scams that are threatening the global game.
“There is virtually no legislation that allows countries to condemn these people, because some of this is done electronically using computers,” he said.

 


Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

Updated 55 min 43 sec ago
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Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

  • Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars
  • London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body

LONDON: Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi believes there will come a time when players will earn $1 million dollars per game while warning that the traditional program of matches between countries “will disappear.”
A Twenty20 domestic franchise competition launched a decade ago, which has spawned a host of imitators worldwide, the IPL is now the most lucrative of all cricket tournaments.
“The IPL is here to stay,” Modi told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Thursday. “It will be the dominant sporting league in the world.”
IPL teams are bankrolled by wealthy businessmen operating in an environment where the passion for cricket in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, makes the game an attractive target for sponsors and broadcasters.
At present there is a team salary cap, with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes earning $1.95 million per season from the Rajasthan Royals.
But Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars.
That would have a huge impact on international cricket, with players torn between making an IPL fortune and representing their countries.
“You will see players making $1-$2m a game,” said Modi. “It will happen sooner rather than later.
“In a free market the person with the deepest pockets will win. The players will gravitate toward who pays the biggest salary.”
Meanwhile, in a chilling argument for cricket traditionalists, London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body.
“Today international cricket does not matter,” he said. “It is of zero value to the Indian fan.
“Tomorrow you will see bilateral cricket disappear,” Modi added. “Big series will happen once every three or four years like the World Cup.
“The ICC will become an irrelevant body. It will be full of fat lugs who have no power. They can scream and shout now and in the future they will threaten to throw India out if they try to expand the IPL but India has the power to stand on its own feet...They have a domestic league that it is going to be 20-times the size of international cricket.”
Modi said the only way five-day international Test cricket, long regarded as the pinnacle of the sport, could survive was if the ICC introduced a long talked-about championship.
“I think there is a window for Test cricket and a World Test championship will survive if all nations get together and make it a proper tournament,” he explained.
“But it has to be a championship. If the ICC does not do it I see no reason why the IPL would not do it instead as a knockout IPL Test championship.”
Modi left India to live in London and has not returned home since 2009. The Board of Control for Cricket in India found him guilty of eight offenses relating to irregularities in the administration of the IPL.
He has never been charged by the Indian government with a crime and denies all accusations, but Modi has repeatedly insisted he cannot go back to India because of underworld threats to his life.