EU urges nations to unite against match-fixing

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — European Union sports ministers are forging a united front against match-fixing to combat what they consider one of the most serious threats to contemporary sport.

Ministers approved a joint declaration at an informal meeting Thursday in the Cypriot capital that urges stepped-up coordination on a European and international level and enhanced cooperation between law enforcement, governments, sports officials and betting operators.

They called for "dissuasive, effective and proportionate" criminal and disciplinary sanctions against offenders, especially in serious, cross-border cases. They also urged improved monitoring to detect match-fixing cases and initiatives aimed at raising awareness about the banned practice.

EU Sport Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said the extent of the problem is such that no country can avoid it or counter it alone.

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