Posted: Tuesday January 10, 2012 9:16AM ; Updated: Tuesday January 10, 2012 9:16AM

FIFA pledges to protect match-fixing witnesses

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ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA has pledged to protect witnesses who report match-fixing plots by organized crime syndicates.

Security director Chris Eaton says "we will take action and we will protect'' whistleblowers who contact a hotline that opens next month.

Eaton says FIFA has "anecdotal evidence'' that players have been killed by crime syndicates to defend their multibillion dollar business, and is monitoring worldwide reports of intimidation to cooperate with betting scams.

The former Interpol official says FIFA's latest campaign against match-fixing depends on players, referees and administrators reporting attempts to corrupt them.

FIFA reacted after a series of scandals exposed the extent of match-fixing in about 60 countries.

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