Fixers should go to jail: Arbib

Sports Minister Mark Arbib, has called for all those involved in match-fixing and corruption in sport, to be sent to prison, an idea that the NRL has no qualms with at all.

“The disincentives need to be significant,” NRL chief executive David Gallop told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

“We would certainly support the penalties being substantial because of the damage that match-fixing or the fixing of seemingly minor parts of the game can do to people’s overall confidence in the game and therefore the commercial foundation stones of the game.

“There is an element of this which is hard to detect and when something is hard to detect the disincentive needs to be a considerable one.”

For the AFL, they are calling for 10 year jail sentences for involvement with match-fixing, and a meeting will be undertaken next week with leading sports officials, including David Gallop, to discuss laws to be introduced to prevent all match-fixing in sport.

“We know from looking at the international experience, the threat that match-fixing has on our sports,” Arbib told ABC Radio.

“We want to make sure that we do everything possible to send a message to those people who want to be involved in match-fixing that there will be jail time, and it won’t be a light punishment.”Arbib said the government was also looking at a code of conduct for all sports so players, coaches and officials were clear on what was allowed in terms of betting.The NRL, which has been troubled by a betting scandal surrounding former Bulldogs star Ryan Tandy, this week banned the live updating of odds during games.”

In a recent step for the NRL, they have banned bookmakers from taking bets on any “exotic bets”, that is field goals, and points scored, during a game.

“They’ve been looking at the areas of their sport which could be corrupted and they took strong action,” Arbib said of the NRL.

For Arbib, it is the integrity of the sport that is paramount to him in retaining.

“Because once illegal gambling and match-fixing takes hold then people start doubting sporting results at every level and that threatens the integrity of sport,” he said.

“If people lose confidence in their sport and their matches then people will stop going to games, will start turning off the TV and that will threaten their sport in the long run.”

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