Zurich: Soccer`s governing body FIFA is concerned for the safety of players who are approached by match-fixers, warning that they could pay the "ultimate price" for involvement, security chief Chris Eaton said.
Eaton added that inadequate and incoherent international legislation was hampering the fight against match-fixers.
With FIFA due to open a hotline for whistleblowers in February and offer a temporary amnesty for players who own up to match-fixing but come forward with evidence, Eaton said 2012 would be a fundamental year.
High-profile cases have hit Turkey and Italy while FIFA is still trying to contact the referee of last year`s friendly between Nigeria and Argentina, believing it could have been manipulated.
In South Korea, nearly 50 players were arrested last year in connection with the worst scandal to hit the 28-year-old league, prompting government threats of a K-League shutdown.
The former coach of South Korean club Sangmu Phoenix was found dead in October in an apparent suicide, three months after being charged as part of the probe.
"We are very concerned about the safety of players (and) officials," Eaton told reporters. "There is anecdotal evidence that some players have been killed."
"We have evidence of players in South Korea committing suicide because of the shame of match fixing. There are players who pay the ultimate price for resisting or for the shame of match-fixing.”
"That`s why its incumbent on FIFA and global society to limit access of criminals to it. We certainly have information in some parts of the world...of threats to players who have come forward.”
"Most are indicating they are under some form of threat; often these are players are under the control of a senior player, or captain, or technical coach, and these are the people we need to support."