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© RIA Novosti. Vitaliy Belousov

Putin signs match-fixing bill into law

by R-Sport at 24/07/2013 13:42

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a bill that toughens the maximum punishment for match-fixing to seven years in prison.

The law, proposed by Putin himself in January, makes it an offense for athletes, coaches and sports officials from betting on their own sports and couples possible prison time with a maximum 1 million ruble ($30,000) fine for those convicted.

Match-fixing is thought to be common in Russian football - although nowhere near the scale of the 1990s - as the country readies to host the 2018 World Cup. The culprits are rarely held to account.

The governor of one of the World Cup host cities, Kaliningrad, last month admitted asking his local football team to drop points because promotion would mean the club swallowing extra state subsidies.

The FIFPro international players' association claimed last year that as many as one in ten footballers in Russia has at some point received an offer to fix a game.

In April, the Russian Premier League urged the media to refrain from jumping to conclusions on match-fixing whenever a shock result occurs.

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