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UEFA steps up corruption battle

The news came following the conclusion of UEFA’s latest Executive Committee meeting in Paris on Monday. Committee members approved the recommendations made by the working group on corruption/match-fixing which focus on establishing the network, which will involve all 53 national associations, and fostering collaboration with state authorities.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told reporters: “In the countries where it has been possible to fight effectively against match-fixing, it has been possible only thanks to the support of the authorities. We cannot do this by ourselves as we are only a sports organisation. But what we can do is act very strongly. If you don’t eradicate the cancer before it starts to grow, then it can become a danger, and we will not permit it to become a danger.”

In other news, Infantino has confirmed that stadia in Kiev and Lviv are unlikely to be completed by a June deadline for the tournament Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland. Ukraine has hit a number of hurdles in its preparations for Euro 2012 with a severe lack of private investment cited as one of the main reasons behind the delays.

According to a report from the Interfax news agency, the Ukrainian government originally targeted private investors for 80% of the funding for infrastructure development. However, that figure has only reached 14% leaving the cash-strapped government to finance the remainder.

Despite Ukraine’s problems, UEFA’s general secretary has stated the delays in Kiev and Lviv will not affect preparations for the tournament. “They (the stadia) will be ready by October at the latest and there will be enough time to test them from the month of October,” Infantino told reporters. “We knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. But in the end it will be a magnificent celebration of European football.”

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