Malta to present match-fixing bill by the end of the year

The law will be aimed at tightening controls and cracking down on match-fixing.

Malta.- The idea of the new law was born after the wake of claims that Maltese football was infected with corruption. The Malta Football Association (MFA) is set to discuss next month the new law in order to create tighter controls and crack down match-fixing.

The bill is currently being drafted by a sub-committee of the task force, including the MFA, the Malta Gaming Authority, the police, Sport Malta and representatives from the government and Opposition. Bjorn Vasallo, Malta Football Association’s general secretary, said: “Rather than papering over the cracks of the existing law, which goes back to 1976, the task force opted for a radical overhaul through a Bill which we hope will be presented to Parliament by the end of the year.”

The bill will also address grey areas such as jurisdiction issues in matches that involve teams from different countries. The task force was created following the comments of officer Franz Tabone, who used to pass evidence of match-fixing and promote the sport’s values. “Maltese football is infested by people who grade the game’s sporting spirit at the lowest grade, if any. Some clubs finance their entire operation by manipulating matches, betting on them and the winnings going towards the club whilst also lining their own pockets,” he said.

The bill is set to replace a three-page law that was enacted decades before the advent of online betting. Vasallo also said that unregulated markets offer much higher returns as there are no tax, license fees or registration costs involved, and consequently such entities have strong links with criminal organisations.

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