“There can be no mercy on those who involve children and athletes in crimes,” the candidate for the presidency of the Latvian Football Federation (LFF), the Minister of the Interior, said in a debate on Delfi TV with Jānis Domburs on Monday. Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV). His competitor in the fight for the LFF president’s chair Vadim Lashenko agreed that the problem of unfair influence on match results exists, but is already being tackled by “professionals”.
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In recent months and even weeks, the Latvian football community has been shaken by several scandals with a criminal connotation, including shortly before Christmas Eve. State police (VP) detained two Latvian league footballers for negotiating the results of the games. Gergens emphasized the fight against this diligence as one of his central goals as LFF president. In his opinion, Gürgen criticized the LFF’s inactivity to date in the fight against match-fixing and the weak internal control mechanisms that allow “criminal entities” to operate.
Girgen claimed that he had information about such cases, which he also obtained from “football people” and passed them on to law enforcement, and not the other way around. “This is not information I receive from law enforcement, it is information that the footballers themselves, who are tired of being constantly approached by such criminals and offering to engage in criminal activities, pass on the information themselves and, accordingly, fulfill my duty. , passing this information on to operational development, “said the LFF presidential candidate.
Lashenko also admitted that “there are problems, there are many of them”, but in general the situation was less critical than the competitor, emphasizing that “professionals” are fighting corruption in football. He pointed out that UFF allocates 50,000 euros a year to UEFA to ensure fair play, and the federation also has an employee whose duties include cooperating with Andrejs Grišins, the head of the Main Criminal Police Department of the State Police. Lashenko also pointed out that the big problem is with the lowest, not Premier League the entry of football games into betting. Lashenko did not talk about specific violations: “I am not the Minister of Internal Affairs, I do not have such information.”
Lashenko also pointed out that, in his opinion, cooperation with the bookmakers themselves should be expanded in order to better detect suspicious cases: “In recent months, the movement has taken place, people have been detained, work is visible. The second question is how to avoid it in the future. betting companies so we can get back information on how many bets are shown on a game. We really need that information to react right away. “
Giggens, on the other hand, stated that he had information about cases when information had been passed on to this fair supervisor, which had not been passed on to the police.
Both candidates agreed on the need to educate young footballers more actively so that they do not participate in such schemes.
See the full record of the debate here.