Speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, Emanuel Medeiros claimed that a professional football club in Europe is being run by “criminals”; Medeiros is the former chief executive of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).
“I believe there is a professional club in a professional league in Europe that is being run by criminals. I have reasons to believe that has been the case,” Medeiros told Sky Sports News following the convention.
“I would not mention any club or any country because there are proper ways of dealing with this and, with due respect for press, it’s not in this forum things will be done.”
“We have been in touch with relevant authorities raising warnings.”
“I’m aware of an ongoing police investigation into that club, but I cannot go into details.”
Medeiros, who was recently appointed as chief executive of the International Centre for Sport Security’s European head office, also took part of debate on match-fixing in football.
“Match-fixing has evolved. It is getting more refined, more sophisticated. It is not just bribing, or threatening or even using more persuasive coercion means.”
“Illegal match-fixing syndicates are using front companies to take over clubs in Europe. It is important that we realize that.”
“There are reasons to be seriously concerned.”
“It is a wake-up call. We need a concerted, global response, a serious response.”
John Abbott, chairman of the Interpol Steering Group for the Interpol-FIFA initiative to reduce corruption in football, took part in the debate but refused to comment on further investigations.
Abbott stated that there may have been a professional club being run by organized crime “in the past”, but he would not talk about “things that might be currently investigated.”
Between 60 and 80 countries have reported allegations of match-fixing for each of the last three years, according to the head of Interpol-FIFA initiative.
“We have evidence of organized crime groups in China, Russia, the Balkans, the United States and Italy making substantial money,” Abbott told delegates at Soccerex.
“Many sports, of course, are affected by match-fixing, but football, the global game, is top of the league and cricket is second.”
“We need better legislation throughout the world, but I don’t think we will ever have one global law covering match-fixing but all the authorities need to work closer with each other to stop it happening.”