(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Qatar Stars League (QSL) in partnership with the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) yesterday held a series of presentations about match-fixing and the consequences of such corrupt activities in the game.
There were four main speakers who all gave detailed and varied presentations to the assembled group of QSL players.
The ICSS aims is to make sure that at least in Qatar all players have been fully educated and recognise the seriousness of the issue.
The talks were informative and lengthy with plenty real life examples of football players who have fallen foul of the law after entering the murky underworld of match-fixing.
All the speakers tried to drive home the message that this a well monitored issue and that the consequences for players could be disastrous.
Players involved in match-fixing often receive life time bans not to mention jail time too.
Up to 190m Euros' worth of legal betting takes place just on the Qatari football league every year, and this is on the rise as the league grows in stature and becomes more globally recognised.
Chris Eaton, Sport Integrity Director, ICSS talked about how football has become the most corrupt sport in the world but quickly added this was due in part to its popularity.
"There are by far, more players involved in football than any other code in the world. But clearly that's the reason why it's the most gambled on sport in the world and therefore the most corrupted sport because criminals always target the richest sports"
He added: "So football is a victim of its own popularity which means it has to protect itself much more strongly."
All the players were keen and interested to learn with some also asking questions to the guest speakers.
Mujeeb Hamid, a defender for Umm Salal said: "This is a good conference to tell the players about the rules and match-fixing. A lot of things are going on in the football world and it is great to know about the punishments and consequences about these things."
There is now an estimated 1tn gambled on sports and 70 percent of these bets take place in South East Asia. Countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are well known for having serious problems with corruption in their football leagues.
Ahmed Alosaymi, Manager Sport Integrity, ICSS who also spoke at the conference, said he was happy that such workshops are in place here in Qatar. He said such proactive meetings needed to be carried out more regularly and on a worldwide basis.
"Actually it's not only Qatar that needs these workshops but all leagues and all sports need these good programs. The players need to know the threat and danger that is coming from the match fixers," Alosaymi said.
The QSL and ICSS have been working together to protect sport in Qatar and have planned a series of workshops in order to achieve this aim. With this in mind, there will be two further workshops: one will be for referees on February 5 and the second will be for the QFL and QFA administrators where they will be educated and briefed on match fixing