NZ Football warned over dangers of match-fixing

A leading sports corruption expert says New Zealand football is a natural target for widespread match fixing.

Canadian Dr Declan Hill told RadioSport's Kent Johns there was "a tsunami of match fixing sweeping around the world".

"It is going to come to New Zealand so get your protection in now," he said.

"I really want to stress this is not an embellishment or exaggerated stuff. Just today the news broke there may be match fixing in the third division of Wales (football) for goodness sake."

Dr Hill painted a particularly gloomy picture in world football, saying the leagues in Italy, Greece and Turkey were so badly affected by corruption that they are "dead men walking".

Globalisation had turned backwater leagues such as those in Canada and New Zealand into prime targets.

The situation was so bad in Canada - which he likened in status to New Zealand football - that it had become a "national embarrassment".

Dr Hill says football is systemically targeted worldwide and New Zealand's honest reputation makes it an attractive option for gamblers at all levels.

He witnessed a situation when $4m was bet on an under-16 game in Asia because a storm had wiped out other matches.

Football is not the only problem area. Combat sports such as boxing and wrestling were among the most vulnerable targets at the Rio Olympics.

Putting support in place to assist athletes showing signs of addiction issues was one preventative measure, as those were the sorts of sports people targeted by the corrupt mobs, he said.

Dr Hill said it was time for sport to pull "pull its socks up" and make a stand.

Listen: Radio Sport's Kent Johns interviews Doctor Declan Hill

- Radio Sport

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