After successfully carrying out the investigations in the IPL 2013 betting and spot-fixing scandal, the former Delhi High Court judge and the head of the Mudgal Committee, Justice Mukul Mudgal has been appointed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to curb and eradicate the increasing threat of match fixing and betting in the football matches all over the Asia.
The Kuala Lumpur based- AFC has now included Mudgal in their Governance Reform Task Force and the main motto of the task force is to control increased cases of match fixing across the Asia. Mudgal said in a brief interview after the first meeting with the AFC “I have offered them some ideas which can help control fixing and betting in the game,” and when asked, refused to elaborate his ideas.
Corruption, betting and match fixing in Asia during the football matches are reportedly on the rise for the last 2-3 years. AFC’s disciplinary committee had provisionally suspended two Thai referees, Thanom Borikut and Chaiya Mahapab in April for alleged actions relating to match-fixing. Even, the football matches in India, which ranks very low in the FIFA ranking also have surprisingly lured bets on top betting sites across the world in the recent times. These incidents have raised concerns and triggered fears among investigators about a growing and illegal football betting market within India itself.
Amid this turmoil, AFC has called on another meeting by the end of this month with the agenda of developing new policies on whistleblowers and mitigating the risk of bribery and corruption. Justice Mudgal will certainly attain this second meeting and said “The mandate is to clean soccer in Asia. We are all working towards it.”
The former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court has also agreed that match fixing in football is a very lucrative business in Asia with a turnover of almost $15 billion, and not only that the business is on the rise and growing day by day. The main reason behind this growing malaise in Asia is, the Asian countries are extremely attractive place for criminal gangs and the lax betting regulations coupled with the sheer scale of gambling market in this region has helped the bookies to grow their kingdom.
The crisis, particularly in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and China is very high. But the Asian bookies have not limited their work-filed only in Asia. They have fixed plenty of matches in Europe and Australian Football League too. Almost 700 suspicious matches and more than 500 corrupt officials, shady players and criminals across the world have been identified by the European Union’s police body Europol, last year. Even according to UEFA, this season alone, the Asian bookies have fixed 15 matches in the UEFA Champions League too.
The controlling body of the game, FIFA has also expressed their concerns in this matter and said repeatedly that the criminals and the punters mostly originate from Asia. The newly appointed FIFA President Gianni Infantino commented, “We know games are fixed, but we also know that it’s very difficult to do anything about the organizers and cheats,” In fact, it was Infantino’s initiative to set up this new AFC task force.
If Justice Mudgal gets success working with the AFC toeradicate corruption and betting from this beautiful game, there are chances that the former Indian judge could be included in the FIFA panel to clean up dirt from footballacross the world.