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Simone such a role model; SAYS.

THE scale of football match-fixing uncovered by Europol investigators is frightening.

But not as scary as the violence and intimidation which are the stock in trade of the crime cartels running the worldwide betting fraud.

So thank goodness for brave men like Simone Farina, whose decision to stand up to the gangsters led to the global crackdown on the fixers.

Farina, now community coach at Aston Villa, where he is a sterling role model for the next generation of players, was asked to help rig a game while still playing in Italy.

He refused and called the cops. The resulting investigation just grew and grew until last week police revealed they are now examining the results of 380 matches.

Farina today urges other players to stand up and be counted, even if they are wary of speaking out.

He calls on clubs to support and protect other potential whistleblowers who currently feel isolated and afraid.

And he urges complete and clear co-operation between club management, FIFA officials and Europol so that the fixers can be rounded up and brought to justice.

Villa have been having a tough season. If all the players showed Farina's determination and courage, they'd soon be out of the mire.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2013
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