ZURICH Soccer's world governing body FIFA has launched a web page to enable individuals to make anonymous reports of corruption by officials and attempts at match-fixing, it said on Wednesday.
FIFA had promised to set up the hotline before Monday's announcement by European police that about 680 suspicious matches, including qualifiers for the World Cup and European Championship and the Champions League, had been identified in a fix inquiry.
"Infringements of the FIFA code of ethics, and violations of FIFA's regulatory framework relating to match manipulation can be securely reported and treated with the strictest confidentiality," FIFA said in a statement.
"The reporting mechanism will enable individuals to notify FIFA of potential violations, another milestone in FIFA's effort to strengthen football governance."
The portal (www.bkms-system.net/FIFA) assures users that information will be handled in confidence.
"Whether you submit your report anonymously or are asked to include your name, your information will be handled promptly and treated with the strictest confidentiality available under the applicable laws and regulations," it says.
"FIFA is convinced that every individual can contribute to promoting transparency and integrity through vigilance and a sense of responsibility. Please help us protect our organisation against harmful behaviour."
The Europol announcement about a widespread global match-fixing ring being run from Singapore shocked much of the game but others said a lot of the revelations were old news with many matches already having been investigated by football authorities.
FIFA, which has battled against match-fixing since 2011, appealed to governments and police to clamp down on the illegal gambling rings who incite players to manipulate games so they can make huge sums of money by correctly betting on the outcome.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)