Japanese football moves to block organized crime

BY foxsports • February 15, 2012

Japanese football is taking steps to keep organized crime out of the sport in order to avoid the fate of its South Korean counterpart.

J-League clubs, players and referees have issued a declaration in Tokyo saying they will take measures to keep anti-social elements out of the sport.

The J-League has set up a third-party hotline for anyone associated with Japanese professional football who wants or needs advice in dealing with suspect people.

The Japan Football Association has also contracted with the Zurich-based Early Warning System GmbH, which monitors the sports betting market worldwide.

The J-League is also enlisting the help of the anti-crime unit of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

The 40 J1 and J2 clubs will also include clauses in players' contracts that will commit them to steering clear of any links to organized crime.

Last year, South Korea's football league was hit by a massive match-fixing scandal, with nearly 80 players and brokers convicted.

Japan's ancient sport of sumo was rocked by a scandal last year in which wrestlers were discovered to be gambling on baseball games. Police said gangsters were involved in the gambling as bookies and possibly taking profits on the bets.