Integrity in sports

FIFA President warns footballers against betting, pledges severe sanctions amid match-fixing concerns

FIFA President Gianni Infantino
Reading time 1:04 min

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has delivered a message against sports betting by footballers, pledging severe sanctions amid a busy football season. Speaking at an event in Paris that celebrated soccer legends such as Pelé, Infantino addressed the critical issue of match-fixing in sports.

Emphasizing that players should refrain from gambling in any sport, Infantino stated: “The players know it: you shouldn’t gamble, obviously. When something happens, obviously there are investigations and very serious and very intransigent decisions are made when it comes to betting and football, at all levels, including amateurs.”

Infantino underscored the necessity of preserving the integrity of sports and highlighted FIFA's commitment to taking stringent actions against those who engage in betting on matches. “Without talking about specific cases, players who are found guilty must be punished severely,” he added.

This warning comes in light of recent incidents involving high-profile players. Newcastle United's Sandro Tonali and Juventus' Nicolo Fagioli have both faced sanctions for their involvement in sports betting.

Additionally, West Ham United's Lucas Paquetá is currently under investigation by the English Football Association (FA) for allegedly receiving yellow cards to benefit a third-party bet.

Infantino stressed that enforcement alone is not enough and emphasized the importance of prevention and education. He called for fostering a culture of integrity where athletes understand and adhere to the rules that ensure fair play

The FIFA President also took the opportunity to honor Pelé, praising him as a symbol of love and dedication to football. “Pelé was not just a player; he was an example of love and dedication to sport, something that all generations should remember,” Infantino said.

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