A bill that would toughen match-fixing laws in Russian football is likely to be submitted to the country's lower house of parliament this fall, its vice-speaker Alexander Zhukov said Sunday.
Russian football is persistently dogged by claims of match fixing, including in the Premier League, although few of the accusations are ever upheld by the authorities.
The head of the Russian Football Union’s committee on match fixing, Anzor Kavazashvili, vowed earlier this year to eradicate the problem by naming and shaming culprits and increasing fines.
But Zhukov said Russia needs to follow the lead of countries that make it a criminal offense to be any part of it.
"In lots of countries there are precedents whereby the punishment for these kinds of things is not only disqualification, but treated as a crime," said Zhukov, also the head of the Russian Olympic Committee.
"The bill in which sanctions are toughened is already prepared," Zhukov said, explaining that "the absence of hard sanctions does not allow us to investigate these (match-fixing) incidents to the end."
Zhukov said that the bill would be formally submitted for approval to the Russian State Duma in the fall session.
Zhukov was in Washington meeting other parliamentary representatives from G8 countries.