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By ESPN Staff

Blatter battling fixing 'scourge'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned match-fixing is a "scourge" that is already undermining the game.

Blatter, addressing the UEFA Congress in Istanbul, said FIFA's decision to use an 'early warning system' which monitors suspicious betting patterns bring in the international police force Interpol was paying off but the problem was growing.

He also alluded to Turkey being affected by match-rigging - Fenerbahce were banned from the Champions League by UEFA this season due to match-fixing.

Blatter said: "There is something that is new and also concerns the region where we are and that is illegal betting and this leads to match-rigging.

"I am very happy that together with UEFA and the other confederations and the early warning system we have been working for one year very closely with Interpol.

"We are working together against the scourge of match-rigging which is undermining our sport.

"FIFA, UEFA and all the other confederations are not responsible for all the evils besetting our world but we must see to it that we stay alert.''

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan addressed the issue in his address to the Congress but said individuals and not clubs should be punished.

Blatter also announced FIFA will insure all players involved in international matches on official dates from the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

He said: "You have to have the best interests of the players and we will have the pleasure of announcing at the next executive committee that from this year we will have total insurance coverage for all matches on the international match calendar.

"This is an insurance coverage for the players, for the clubs and for the associations.''

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