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FIFPro calls on UEFA to cancel the suspension of two players from Hungarian club Debreceni VSC, who have been severely sanctioned due to match-fixing although they have done nothing wrong. The players are victims, not culprits, is the opinion of the world players’ union.

 

Last week FIFPro was informed that in June the UEFA Disciplinary Comittee sanctioned two players from Debreceni VSC regarding a match-fixing affair, namely Norbert Mészáros (a 30-year old Hungarian defender) and Vukasin Poleksic (a 28-year old goal keeper, who has also played 21 matches for the national team of Montenegro).

 

The players were blamed for not reporting to their club that they were approached for match fixing. During the investigations it was established that they did not do anything that violated the integrity of the game. Poleksic admitted that he was contacted for match fixing, but had not responded to the approach. Mészáros denied being approached.

 

Although neither player was involved in match-fixing, they received severe sanctions. Mészáros is suspended until December 2011 and Poleksic until June 2012. Both received a substantial fine.

 

FIFPro emphasizes that players are extremely vulnerable in situations like this. On the one hand, reporting irregularities can be suspect, while on the other hand not reporting irregularities can also lead to repercussions. In fact there is no good solution for players;  whatever way they react,  they run severe risks.

 

FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen: ‘It is not the players that cause the problems. They are victims of the match fixers. Sanctioning players that harshly is not the right answer to the problem.’

 

‘Of course something must be done to safeguard the integrity of the game. In order to achieve this, we must create a safe environment for players in which it is possible that reporting irregularities does not affect a player’s career. FIFPro is investigating the options for creating such safe environment. Within several months we will present our proposals in the appropriate forums.’

 

‘For now, we call on the appeal board of the UEFA Disciplinary Committee to cancel the disproportionate suspension of the two players, Mészáros and Poleksic, because sanctioning them will not solve the issue.’

 

‘The fight against match fixing needs consistent consideration on all levels in the football world. FIFPro is prepared to take it’s share.’