Anti-corruption efforts in football will only make it stronger - Kholodnytsky
Chief of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) and First Vice-President of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) Nazar Kholodnytsky says that anti-corruption efforts in Ukrainian football will only make it stronger.
"When it comes to fighting corruption, we often hear 'you are destroying the country.' I think that they will also say that 'you may destroy football.' But we will not destroy football, football should there be a fair and high-quality [game], and then you will see results, because players who're at the beginning of their career should play it fair," he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Kholodnytsky says that criminal cases on the fact of fixed matches in Ukraine should not be investigated for years. "And this is not all we can do, today's law-enforcement crackdown is only the beginning. There is the political will in football, and it will last as long as we hold our posts," he said.
In turn, FFU President Andriy Pavelko stressed that the operation of law enforcement agencies against the organizers and participants in the fixed matches is a "historic day" for Ukrainian football.
He pointed out that criminals could not "get off" with payment of administrative fines now, and if necessary, lawmakers can toughen the responsibility for such offences.
As reported, the Ukrainian police completed a special operation to crack down on five organized criminal groups that had built an extensive fixed football system.
Some 35 out of 52 professional football clubs of Ukraine were reportedly involved in that activity.