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Mar 18, 2013

Africa 'must do more against fixing'

African football must do more to combat match-fixing in order to restore people's faith in the game, former FIFA official Chris Eaton has said.

Eaton, once the security chief for world football's governing body, called for a regional body to investigate credible allegations of fixing to be set up.

He told the Associated Press that football organisations, gambling companies and police should be involved in the investigative body, which he said would need both internal and external funding.

"Africa needs a substantial continental reform, really. I think you will find most serious people in sport in Africa today recognise that," he said.

"There is a need for regulation and oversight of the official and even unofficial bodies that are part of the sporting milieu."

Eaton said he believed a lack of interest from politicians was hampering efforts to combat fixing, adding that there was an "enormous amount of allegations involving Africans in match-fixing".

"It is a lack of political will,'' he explained. "African police are as competent and capable as any police in the world. There is no doubt that, if they put their will to it and have the funding to it, they can do it.''

The Confederation of African Football, whose president Issa Hayatou was recently re-elected unopposed, did not tackle the issue of fixing at a recent conference.

Earlier this year, the European police agency Europol said it had uncovered 300 games outside the continent, the majority of them being in Africa, Asia and South and Central America, in which fixing was suspected.

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