SFA launch hotline to beat fixing

FOOTBALL bosses today launched a whistleblowing hotline in an attempt to boot corruption out of the game.

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The Scottish Football Association, the game's governing body, set up the anonymous scheme to tackle match-fixing and illegal betting.

It said the campaign,

dubbed Keep It Clean, was

designed to "stay one step ahead of the growing threat of match-fixing".

Stewart Regan, SFA chief executive, warned those involved in Scottish football must be "vigilant".

He said: "The threat posed to the integrity of the game is clear and present."

Players, coaches, club

officials, and administration staff were today urged to contact the "security and integrity" hotline if they have any concerns about the sport. The hotline number is not being made public.

Launched at Hampden Stadium, the scheme is also aimed at match officials,

including referees.

As well as match-fixing, officials want information on any illegal betting

patterns, doping issues, or other unlawful pressures applied from third parties around the game.

Mr Regan said: "The threat posed to the integrity of the game is clear and present.

"Recently, we have seen allegations of match-fixing arrive in England.

"And while we should be proud of the reputation Scotland has worked hard to cultivate, we must be

extra vigilant."

The launch of the hotline comes just months after Rangers' player Ian Black was fined and suspended by the SFA for breaching

betting rules.

The midfielder was

handed a three-game ban, with a further seven matches suspended.

He was also fined £7500 for betting on 10 games

involving the club he was registered with, including on three occasions where he backed his side not to win.

As well as the launch

of the hotline, all senior clubs in Scotland will receive an awareness pack, which includes dressing room posters and boardroom mugs, with the

hotline number and messaging.

The SFA is working with the SPFL, PFA Scotland, the Coaches And Managers'

Association and Crime­stoppers, to tackle match-fixing and illegal betting.

Officals said the hotline would be open 24 hours

a day, for the remainder of the season.

rebecca.gray@eveningtimes.co.uk

Football

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