Uefa advocates life bans

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The Independent Online

Football's European governing body, Uefa, is advocating a life ban for anyone found guilty of taking an illegal payment from a transfer.

Uefa's director of communications, William Gaillard, believes such "bungs" are common across Europe but concedes that it is powerless regarding the regulation of transfers.

"At Uefa we suspect bungs are being paid, not only in England but everywhere else," Gaillard said. "But under the current rules as they are set up by the European Union, there is really nothing we can do to make sure transfers are clean, that ownership of clubs and players is transparent. This is why we are asking for a lot more financial transparency.

"People who behave in an unsporting fashion should be excluded from the game. They have no place in the game - for ever. I believe this is what most fans would like to see. They shouldn't be in the game any more."

However, Lord Coe, appointed as the first chairman of the world body Fifa's new independent watchdog earlier this month, feels life bans for those found guilty of taking bungs would be difficult to enforce.

"Legally it is a complication," he said. "But the point was correctly made that taking an illegal payment is a criminal activity."

It was reported yesterday that the Premier League inquiry headed by Lord Stevens has decided that 50 of the 362 transfers examined need further clarification. Investigators found large parts of fees disappearing, or unusually large commissions paid to agents.

The inquiry has also uncovered fraud and tax offences, it was reported, and is expected to call in the relevant authorities.

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