FIFA reactivates gambling "early warning" system

FIFA is extending its betting detection system for monitoring sports betting to take in the preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Early Warning System GmbH, a company founded specifically for this purpose with its own staff and offices in Zurich, was contracted to undertake this task and started the relevant work on 1 July 2007. FIFA's actions are intended to prevent sports betting from having any negative impact on football matches and, at the same time, raise awareness of this problem throughout the entire football community. FIFA will immediately sign contracts via the company with bookmakers and betting organisations, under which the latter will be required to report any irregular betting activities.

The ever-increasing range of sports bets now available, largely as a result of advances in new media and internet technology, is having a growing influence on football at national and international level, Soccer Investor reported. Article 15 of the FIFA Code of Ethics forbids officials, players and players' agents from taking part, either directly or indirectly, in betting, gambling, lotteries and similar events or transactions connected with football matches. It also prohibits these persons from having stakes, either actively or passively, in companies, concerns, organisations etc. that promote, broker, arrange or conduct such events or transactions. While any transgressions of this code are to be sanctioned in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the passing of sanctions for illegal betting activities and match rigging and the battle to eradicate such activities remain the responsibility of government authorities.