Players, coaches, referees and officials will be banned from betting on matches under a new code of conduct agreed by Germany’s Football Association (DFB).

The decision to prohibit betting on games comes in the wake of the match-fixing scandal which has beset German football in recent months.

Referee Robert Hoyzer confessed to fixing matches in the Cup and lower leagues for a Croatian gambling ring.

Germany is hosting the 2006 World Cup and the revelations came as a huge embarrassment for the country’s football authorities.

“The case surely cast a shadow on German football but where there is shadow there is also light,” the DFB’s joint-president Theo Zwanziger said at Thursday’s meeting in Mainz. “There is nothing more beautiful than football.”

The DFB also announced plans to set up its own bookmaking operation.

“We want a fair part of this market,” Zwanziger added.

“We can’t allow soccer to remain a platform for others to make a profit while we get used.”

The football betting market is estimated to be worth about $3.9 billion a year in Germany.