Fifa and Interpol are concerned about the possibility of match-fixing at the football Under-20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand in May and June next year.

They sent a world-renowned match-fixing expert here last week to brief police, sporting bodies and other government agencies.

"Match-fixing has affected football at every level, on every continent the game is played," said Julie Norris, head of Interpol's Integrity in Sport Unit. "Unfortunately you can't rule it out at any level."

Older players at the end of their careers or young ones who could be "groomed" tended to be targeted by match-fixers. Last year 14 members of El Salvador's national team were given life bans after a fixing scandal, while 300 European matches - including Uefa Champions League games - had been pinpointed after an investigation by German police and Europol in 2012


However, Norris was confident about prevention measures being put in place in New Zealand. "I'm extremely impressed with what I've seen here. It's up with the best ... Strong deterrents are in place; there's a high level of awareness, there's legislation and there are strong networks, knowledge and expertise."

Match-fixing will become a crime in New Zealand by the end of the year, when the Crime (Match Fixing) Amendment Bill is passed into law.