SWANSEA MANAGER MICHAEL LAUDRUP has said comments made by him surrounding match-fixing were taken out of context.
Laudrup, 48, made clear that he was opposed to the offence but said that he felt paying clubs to lose games was a worse offence than paying them to win – as playing for a victory is what a team attempts to do at all times.
Laudrup told reporters: “If Swansea play the last game against a team, and a third team pays Swansea to win the game, I really don’t see anything bad about that.
“It’s just a bonus. For me, match-fixing is somebody pays someone to lose a game. In Spain where there’s one or two matches left in a season we always talked about the suitcases.
“But the suitcases is to win – I don’t see anything bad about that. I think we have to define very well what is match-fixing because there’s different levels, I think.”
However, Laudrup maintains that those quotes were taken out of context and released a statement clarifying his position on the matter.
“I am well aware that it is against the rules to receive money to influence the outcome of a football match,” he said.
“I am in full support of these match-fixing rules and certainly do not advocate any payments of any kind.
“The point I was trying to make was that the term match-fixing needs to be defined because there are different levels.
“If two teams playing each other both needed a draw and the scores are level with 20 minutes to go, then I wouldn’t expect either team to throw men forward looking for a winner. That, to me, is not match-fixing.
“The worst case of match-fixing I heard was in Italy in the early 80s, before I went there, when three or four players were paid to lose a game. Can you imagine what the other players felt when they got to know about that after they went out to win?
“People like that should be banned for life, not for a few years. They should be out of the game forever.
“The other point I was trying to make regarding defining the word match-fixing, and which was hypothetical and perhaps taken out of context in relation to the whole interview, was that if someone wanted to pay us to win, then fine, because we go out to win every game anyway. That’s what I meant by a bonus.”
Italy has suffered in recent years from the problem of match fixing, with the calciopoli scandals in both 2006 and 2012.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte is now one month into a 10-month suspension for not reporting alleged match-fixing in games involving his former club Siena, though he has denied the charges and has launched an appeal to clear his name.