Platini warns that match-fixers risk their careers

Sofia :UEFA president Michel Platini has warned that players who get involved in match-fixing are putting their careers on the line.

"I always tell the players to be very careful," Platini told a news conference on Sunday. "They should know they`ll never play football again if they`re caught in the act.

"I`m telling them - play poker or go to the casino and or play some other gambling game but don`t try to fix matches."

Platini reiterated that UEFA would take a zero-tolerance approach to what he has previously described as the biggest scourge facing the game.

"I`m not a policeman and I`m not a judge, who fights with the mafia," he said.

"I know we must defend football. You know that UEFA`s executive committee and congress declared zero tolerance for corruption.

"We can`t convict a person who has agreed to fix a match," Platini added. "This is not our function. But we`re pushing to solve this problem.

"We gave 7.5 million euros ($10.2 million) to each of the national football associations recently to combat the problem and I can tell you that they`ll receive 9.5 million euros each between 2012 and 2016."

During his two-day visit, Platini met Bulgaria Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to discuss the Balkan country`s bid to host the European Under-21 championship finals in 2013.

"Bulgaria is ready to host the championship," Platini said.

Bureau Report