Soccer players' union FIFPro to launch match-fixing hotline

    Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro is appealing a six-month ban for failing to report a match-fixing approach

    Story highlights

    • Worldwide soccer players' union FIFPro launches project to combat match-fixing
    • Players will be able to report any illegal approaches or behavior via an online tool
    • FIFPro also to raise awareness of the problems among players, coaches and referees
    • Match fixing cases in South Africa and Italy have emerged recently
    In the past week sanctions have been handed down in both South Africa and Italy in relation to a growing trend that is fast becoming a stain on soccer's integrity -- match-fixing.
    But FIFPro, the worldwide players' union, are preparing a project to tackle fixing, that will include an education program and an online tool for their members to report illegal approaches.
    Match-fixing has proved a particular problem for Italian football in recent years.
    Napoli were hit with a two-point penalty that dropped them from third to fifth in Serie A as part of an ongoing investigation, though they vehemently deny any wrongdoing. Defender Paolo Cannavaro is appealing his six-month ban for failing to report an illegal approach.
    Juventus coach Antonio Conte recently returned from a 10-match touchline ban imposed for failing to report match-fixing while coach at Siena.
    In 2006, Juve were stripped of two league titles and relegated to the third division of Italian football -- before later being reinstated in the second tier -- for their part in the "Calciopoli" scandal.
    Elsewhere, the president of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and four other officials were suspended this week as part of an investigation into match-fixing ahead of the country hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010.