Michael Laudrup has no problem with rivals paying teams to win
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup says he sees no problem with teams paying rival sides to win games.
The Dane stressed he was completely against "match fixing", but believes the term needs to be "better defined".
He said: "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."
Accepting money to influence the outcome of a match is against Football Association and Premier League rules.
Laudrup was asked about the issue of match fixing by a journalist working for European media organisations at a news conference.
The scenario Laudrup describes could involve a club in the relegation zone paying a team a bonus if they beat one of their closest rivals, enabling the threatened club to stay up.
Laudrup, who has 104 caps and 37 goals for Denmark, was asked the question because he played for Lazio and Juventus in the 1980s, and Italian football continues to be dogged by match-fixing claims.
As many as 13 Italian clubs - mainly from the second division - are under investigation. Juventus coach Antonio Conte was given a 10-month suspension in August for not reporting alleged match-fixing in two games involving ex-club Siena in the 2010-11 season. He denies the claims and is appealing.
Laudrup, 48, said players guilty of being paid to lose should be banned from the game for life instead of being given fixed-term bans.
He said: "To say I'm against that [match-fixing] is like saying today it's Thursday - it's obvious.
"The worst match fixing I've heard was what happened in Italy before I came there in the beginning of the 80s, where somebody bought three or four of the players in a team to lose a game.
"That means that seven or eight players in a team were playing to win, like normal, and three or four of them just to lose."
However Laudrup has no issue if there were bonus from rival teams.
"It's just a bonus. For me, match-fixing is somebody pays someone to lose a game," he said.
"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."
Spokesmen for the Football Association of Wales, the English Football Association and Premier League declined to comment specifically on Laudrup's revelations.
And the English FA and the FAW have said it is not their responsibility to examine Laudrup's comments on match-fixing.
But the FA pointed to rule E5(a) of its regulations, which states:
- a participant shall not, directly or indirectly, offer, agree to give, give, solicit, agree to accept or accept any bribe, gift or reward or consideration of any nature which is, or could appear to be related in any way to seeking to influence the outcome or conduct of a match or competition.
The Premier League has a rule stating that "a cub shall not either directly or indirectly:
- be involved in or have any power to determine or influence the management or administration of another club or Football League club; or
- permit any other club or Football League club to be involved in or have any power to determine or influence its management or administration.
- in all matters and transactions relating to the League each club shall behave towards each other club and the League with the utmost good faith.