A former Richmond board member has spoken out against the AFL's push for access to police intelligence to combat match-fixing threats, saying the focus should be on criminal elements not on sporting prosecutions.

AFL chief Andrew Demetriou and Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay , with Demetriou warning that the AFL has been particularly concerned about the vulnerability of the sport to infiltration by organised crime.

But former Richmond board member - now the chief executive of soccer's Football Players Association - Brendan Schwab, has told ABC there were serious concerns about changes to the laws.

"Player activists and player representatives have obvious concerns about sharing that information with sporting authorities which do not have the capability nor the mandate to deal with matters which would otherwise be criminal," he said.

"We do not want, at this point in time, to see a series of sporting prosecutions when everyone's focus should be on stopping match-fixing at its source, and its source is the betting syndicates and the relationship of those betting syndicates with organised crime."

"We really want to protect athletes form that because we have grave fears about the relationship betweens athletes and those criminal elements.

"Why do we have those concerns? Because of the devastating and the fatal examples that we've seen throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, and most recently in the Korean Republic."

The outgoing federal Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, opposed sharing of intelligence, however the league hopes for a change in approach from the incoming Abbott government.

Schwab said he did not want to speculate on the AFL's position, but indicated that there was a need to focus on existing laws rather than expanding legal powers.

"What I am saying is from the perspective of the whole of sport, and from the perspective of the athletes, we have a policy," he said.

"It should be implemented, and we should have everyone's attention focused on solving this problem at its source, which are the betting syndicates, their possible relationship with organised crime, and we need to know the natural limitations which a sporting organisation has in what it can and cannot do.

"There was an agreement reached two years ago between state and the Commonwealth Attorneys-General and the major sports, with the backing of the players associations, to have what is widely regarded as a world-class approach to match-fixing.

"(It's an approach) that makes match-fixing a crime and it gives the policing authorities, as a result, the ability to prosecute those who start match-fixing: namely, the criminal elements."

 

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