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Saturday, September 22, 2012
Laudrup clarifies 'bonus' comments

ESPN staff

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has clarified him comments on bonus payments, claiming he was talking hypothetically when he suggested there would be nothing amiss in teams taking incentives to win matches from clubs with a vested interest.

• Defenceless Swans face Moyes' men

Former Denmark international Laudrup has spent time in a wide range of countries throughout his career as a player and manager, and played for Italian sides Juventus and Lazio during the 1980s, a period associated with match-fixing investigations in the country.

He believes that match-fixers should be hit with lifetime bans, but believes the 'suitcase' culture prevalent in Spanish football, where one team will pay another team to take points off their immediate rivals in the league table, is not an issue.

Laudrup said on Thursday: "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.''

He added: "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 on Friday, Laudrup, in a statement addressing his remarks, strongly denied condoning any form of fixing.

Referring to the corruptibility of the Italian game in the "early 80s'', before his stints at Lazio and Juventus, Laudrup said offenders looking to maliciously manipulate results "should be out of the game forever''.

Laudrup added in his statement: "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.

"I am well aware that it is against the rules to accept or receive money to influence the outcome of a football match. 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 the winner. That to me is not match-fixing.''




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