Miami, FL (Thursday, June 5, 2014)- The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced the beginning of the process of appointments for Single Point of Contacts (SPOC) in every Member Association. These individuals will assist the Confederation in extending the efficient and effective regional integrity network aimed at protecting the game of football by combatting match-manipulation, racism and discrimination.
“Match-fixing is a cross border epidemic,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “Appointing the SPOC’s is an essential step to establish an integrity network within CONCACAF. Through that network we will be able to integrate all regional measures and coordinate operations in the MAs and provide them with support in order to prevent, detect, investigate, and immediately respond to match manipulation issues”.
As it pertains to the fight against match-manipulation, the SPOCs will also be the contact persons in establishing the CONCACAF Integrity program at the Member Association level. The current CONCACAF Integrity program contains different education and prevention measures. The presence of one dedicated contact in each country will facilitate the fast and smooth exchange of information across the region.
The creation of such a position in every Member Association is also recommended by FIFA.
“FIFA established 2012 an Integrity Initiative to fight match manipulation. The entire football community needs to be united and committed in the response to the worldwide threat of corruption and organized crime. In order to build up a global (communication/information) network FIFA is recommending that each Football Association establishes a contact person (SPOC) to coordinate all matters related to match manipulation as a national level,” said Mr. Ralf Mutschke, FIFA Director of Security Division.
SPOC will receive special tailored training in fact finding by FIFA and INTERPOL to develop the knowledge and skills to conduct an effective enquiry and establish the facts relating to a report or suspicion of match manipulation as well as presenting the findings for the purposes of disciplinary proceedings.
“We expect to have the appointment process finalized shortly and announce the full list of SPOCs that compose this important integrity network.” said Dr. Laila Mintas, CONCACAF Director of Sports Integrity. “We will then start the training process alongside Interpol and FIFA to equip our network with the right tools to work efficiently in this matter.”
As a component of CONCACAF’s efforts to broaden its Embrace Diversity campaign, these qualified individuals will help coordinate the monitoring and elimination of any racist or discriminatory behavior during matches. In coordination with CONCACAF, they will also have the responsibility of establishing diversity initiatives, education and prevention programs to combat racism and discrimination within their respective Member Association. As an initial step, CONCACAF will provide training to all appointed SPOCs, who will participate in a comprehensive workshop that will thoroughly examine best practices for dealing with incidents of racism or other acts of discrimination during high-risk matches.
Last month, CONCACAF took part in the “Train the Trainers” course, an undertaking facilitated by FIFA and INTERPOL aimed at intensifying the ongoing fight against match-fixing. Twenty-five individuals were trained as INTERPOL Certified Instructor of Footballers, Referees and Coaches in the Prevention of Match-Fixing and will share their knowledge with all stakeholders in the CONCACAF region.