GUATEMALA CITY - From Aug. 7-8 more than 75 delegates from football, government and law enforcement attended the INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop co-hosted by CONCACAF and the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) in Guatemala City.
The purpose of the conference was to increase the awareness and understanding of match fixing in football, as well as to examine the multitude of characteristics associated with such activity.
Representatives of the seven national associations that comprise the Central American region (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), as well as the Mexican Football Federation, were present.
Over the two days, presentations were made by INTERPOL (the world's largest police agency), FIFA, Early Warning System (a company established to monitor matches and to safeguard the integrity of football) and Sportradar (a supplier of sports and betting-related data).Additionally, each national association shared their experiences and concerns relating to match fixing.
"The depth of information provided at the workshop and the active participation of the national associations were very impressive," said CONCACAF General Secretary, Enrique Sanz."I am delighted that CONCACAF is taking a leadership role in addressing corruption in our sport.
"The time we spent together in Guatemala, however, is not the end of process.Instead, it is the beginning of a necessary journey."
Below, is a summary of workshop topics, future needs/resources and resolutions:
· Corruption in football
· Identifying and defining the problem of match fixing
· Depicting how the betting market functions
· Presentation of an actual match fixing case
· FIFA Governance and Legal operations
· Creation of governance system that is efficient for national associations
· Education and prevention
· Communication channels between, FIFA, INTERPOL, CONCACAF, regional unions and the national associations
· An integrity officer in CONCACAF
· Expansion of knowledge in regard to the growing influence of organized crime in global match fixing
· Creation of standard protocols to address match fixing in the region
· Focus on the absence of sport and national regulations/legislation pertaining to match fixing
· Increased educational programs addressing match fixing in the region.
· Establish closer working relationships with INTERPOL, sports betting monitoring companies and the national associations to establish, expand and coordinate communication channels
· Appoint a CONCACAF Integrity Officer to deal with all the related matters
· National associations should appoint their own Integrity Officer to coordinate with the CONCACAF Integrity Officer
· Create model anti-match fixing regulations to be applied at the national association level
· Draft proposed legislation to be provided to each national association, so that it can be customized to their requirements and be proposed for passage by their governments
· Establish a confidential procedure to report a possible incidence of match fixing
· Establish a standard protocol to deal with match fixing cases
· Work with INTERPOL to create and implement educational programs in the region to avoid match fixing and develop training courses
· Publicize all anti-match fixing actions organized in the confederation