VALLETTA: UEFA president Michel Platini believes that players involved in matchfixing should be suspended for life.

He made his comments after flying in to Malta for the derby between champions Valletta and Floriana at the National Stadium.

Platini, who described match-fixing as one of the biggest threats to football, was speaking in the context of a long-running investigation by the Maltese federation and now by UEFA’s control and disciplinary board into allegations that Malta’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Norway had been manipulated.

Platini said players had the biggest responsibility when it came to match-fixing and added: “These things kill the game . . . they touch the soul of the game.”

Asked about the financial fair play rules, he said UEFA had given clubs three years to prepare for these regulations and from next season, action would be taken against clubs that failed to observe these regulations.

UEFA, he said, had had to take unpopular decisions which were ultimately intended to help clubs, some of which would disappear if they continued to spend at their current rates.

On the Euro 2012 games, starting in June in Poland and Ukraine, Mr Platini said these were a challenge as the organising countries had no previous experience in the organisation of such games.

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