Putin introduces a bill against match-fixing

Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced a bill in parliament against match-fixing in sport, after suspicions about rigging of results in its domestic soccer leagues.

News agency RIA Novosti said the proposal from the sports-mad head of state, submitted in the Duma, would amend existing laws to prevent the possibility of events being illegally influenced.

Match-fixing organisers would run the risk of a maximum seven-year jail term and/or a one million-rouble fine ( $NZ39,000), while whistle-blowers would be given immunity from prosecution.

Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko said approval of the bill would boost the ability of the police to tackle match-fixing.

"This legislative act gives us an opportunity to get the law enforcement forces involved into the fight with match-fixing in Russia,'' he said.

In recent years, a number of soccer matches in Russia's lower divisions and the top-flight Premier League raised suspicions, prompting European football's governing body UEFA to write to the Russian football federation (RFU) to investigate.

But the RFU found no evidence, although it blamed an inability to get police and prosecutors to look at the claims.

The new law, if approved, will give the RFU commission the tools to investigate more thoroughly, the report said.

-AFP

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