Boosting national efforts against match-fixing focus of INTERPOL-FIFA meeting in Canada

(ABOVE) Anti match-manipulation presentation during the INTERPOL-FIFA Partnership Development meeting held in Ottawa, Canada.

OTTAWA, Canada – Further enhancing Canada’s capacity to protect the integrity of sport and engage in international prevention efforts against match-fixing was the focus of a Partnership Development Meeting in Ottawa held under the auspices of INTERPOL and FIFA. 

Bringing together some 20 partners involved in the national prevention of match-fixing, the purpose of the meeting was to support stakeholders operate in a coordinated manner, especially at national level, to ensure a comprehensive and unified approach to both the prevention of match-fixing and responses to allegations of match-fixing.

“Protecting the integrity in football remains one of CONCACAF’s top priorities," said CONCACAF President Jeffery Webb. "Part of our focus to ensure a coordinated strategy for the future is to continue to work together with our Member Associations as well as our partners, FIFA and INTERPOL, on the concept of developing national laws that would make match-manipulation a criminal offense in each country.”

INTERPOL’s Director of Capacity Building and Training, Dale Sheehan, said that no organization can tackle the problem of match-fixing alone.

"Transnational organized crime can infiltrate key actors in the Canadian sport industry and make millions in illicit profits from match-fixing with little risk of being detected and will exploit every opportunity. By bringing together key partners, we are raising awareness and understanding of the problem and developing a strategy in order to protect the integrity of Canadian sport,” said Mr Sheehan.

“Sports and fair play are the very fabric of our society and youth, and the impact of match-fixing, including murder, suicide, assault and threats has the ability to undermine that very fabric,” he added.

FIFA Director of Security Ralf Mutschke said: “Capacity building is vital to confront and combat the danger of match manipulation. FIFA and INTERPOL developed a multifaceted program to deepen the understanding, provide specific recommendations and enhance the collaboration of all relevant stakeholders to tackle the transnational threat. Strong allies are of utmost importance to strengthen good governance, investigations and prosecutions.

“With the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada approaching, FIFA highly values the commitment of the Canadian Soccer Association to safeguard the integrity of football,” added Mr Mutschke.

The meeting included senior representatives from Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada Soccer Association, Canadian Ministry of State for Sport, Canada Gaming Association (CGA), CONCACAF Football Confederation, FIFA, INTERPOL and its National Central Bureau in Ottawa, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).