FIFA, Interpol to enlighten Indian football on corruption

New Delhi, Jan 8: World’s largest police organisation Interpol and football’s governing body FIFA have joined hands to enlighten the stake holders in Indian football on tackling corruption and match-fixing that has plagued the game.

A two-day FIFA-Interpol Workshop on ‘Tackling Match Fixing and Corruption in Football’ will be held from Jan 15. In 2011, Interpol had inked a 10-year agreement, worth $20 million, with FIFA to put in place an anti-corruption mechanism.

The workshop is part of the FIFA-Interpol Training, Education and Prevention initiative and is being partnered by India’s premier investigating agency the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Besides representatives from FIFA, Interpol and CBI, the workshop would also be attended by representatives from Delhi Police and Mumbai police.

Representatives from All India Football Federation (AIFF), International Cricket Council (ICC), and football club owners would also be present along with representatives from the sports ministry.

Shaji Prabhakaran, FIFA Development Officer for South and Central Asia who is coordinating the two-day meet said the priority is to “educate all stakeholders”.

“FIFA has a partnership with Interpol since 2011 and the focus is to put into place the preventive measures and educate all the stakeholders and key players about the menace of match manipulations. We intend to engage all the law enforcing agencies in the act,” Prabhakaran said.

“I need to compliment All India Football Federation for being proactive and coming on board for bringing this initiative to India,” he added.

“A partnership development meeting involving the key stakeholders of football and law enforcement agencies would also be held at the end of the workshop,” Prabhakaran said.

“This group will be taking the discussion forward and put in place the framework and continue the process of educating all about the manipulation and related issues.”

As part of the programme, the two-day workshop will throw light on various match-fixing scenarios and the links involved in it. A separate session will be devoted to Interpol demonstrating how to combat ‘match-fixing’.

It will involve methods to fight corruption in sports including identifying key stakeholders, importance of information collection and sharing, training and education and how to overcome barriers and motivate key factors.

IANS