Monday 11 December 2017

Interpol suspends €20m partnership with FIFA into match-fixing

The logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA is seen on its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland
The logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA is seen on its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland

Interpol has suspended a 10-year, €20 million partnership with FIFA amid ongoing investigations into alleged corruption at world football's governing body.

The international police organisation has announced it will "freeze the use of financial contributions from FIFA" for its Integrity in Sport programme.

Interpol and FIFA created the programme in 2011 to fight match-fixing but Jurgen Stock, secretary general of the world police body, has deemed the current arrangement inappropriate at present.

His decision was endorsed at a meeting of the organisation's executive committee at its headquarters in Lyon.

Stock said: "In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport programme, I have decided to suspend the agreement.

"All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organisation, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community."

A statement from Interpol added: "The agreement with FIFA includes a clause which states that 'the funding party declares notably that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol'."

FIFA is currently engulfed in scandal as US and Swiss authorities conduct wide-ranging investigations into alleged corruption.

A statement from FIFA read: "We are disappointed to learn of the decision by Interpol to suspend cooperation in the fight against match-fixing in football. The success and importance of this programme cannot be understated. Our cooperation over the past four years has been a key part of addressing the transnational problem of match-fixing.

"This successful programme is unrelated to the current issues surrounding FIFA and we believe that this unilateral decision will negatively impact the fight against criminal activity, a goal of which no supporter of the sport can be in favour.

"FIFA remains committed to this important and successful collaboration and will work for its resumption at the earliest opportunity. We are currently reaching out to Interpol to further discuss this matter."

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