FIFA has expressed its deep shock at the news that the German referee, Robert Hoyzer, has confirmed the veracity of match-fixing allegations levelled against him. The match official has admitted that the charges are in essence true.
"Referees are guarantors for impartiality and fair play and for ensuring that matches are conducted impeccably," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "They therefore have greater moral and ethical responsibilities. FIFA is deeply concerned that a promising young referee has violated those requirements in the worst possible manner, as well as by the fact that his actions went undetected for so long."
In a letter to the German football association (DFB), the FIFA President stressed the need for this case to be fully resolved. "The 2006 FIFA World Cup™ is just over a year away and German football, and with it the DFB, are now in the spotlight. The burden is therefore on the DFB to continue to give their full support to the investigating authorities and to pursue their inquiries within the association itself.
We have no doubt whatsoever that the DFB will act in an exemplary manner and will endeavour to keep FIFA updated on the results of their investigations, bearing the new Code of Ethics in mind, and, where possible, on the findings of the relevant authorities."
With regard to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, FIFA will hold its first referees' workshop and training course near Frankfurt from 12 to 16 February 2005 - a little over a year before the final competition itself. The 46 shortlisted referees will attend this workshop and course to prepare for the challenge that lies ahead. The referees will be subject to a thorough medical check-up and will complete theoretical and practical training exercises. As well as working on their physical fitness and being asked to undergo a rigorous fitness test, the officials will also be advised on how to handle attempts to place them under pressure and illegal approaches from third parties. FIFA will use this workshop to take preventive measures to counter any possible attempts to fix matches.
The above-mentioned Code of Ethics, which is binding on every FIFA member association and match official, was ratified by the FIFA Executive Committee on 6 October 2004 and is therefore applicable in this particular case.