Miami (Wednesday, May 21, 2014) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today completed the first round of its “Train the Trainers” course, an undertaking facilitated by FIFA and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and aimed at intensifying the ongoing work to combat match-fixing in football.
Following dual three-day sessions – one conducted in English and a second in Spanish – 25 individuals from the CONCACAF region were appointed as INTERPOL Certified Instructor of Footballers, Referees and Coaches in the Prevention of Match-Fixing.
The “Train the Trainers” program initiative was launched following a recently singed Memorandum of Understanding with Interpol, which covers the areas of coordinated training programs and workshops against match-fixing and corruption in sports through prevention and education programs for players, referees and officials within all three regions of CONCACAF.
“The successful completion of this course serves as a warning to match fixers – CONCACAF has strengthened its strong zero-tolerance stance towards match manipulation in the region,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We are taking this threat to the game very seriously. We will act, and we will respond. The goal here is to keep the game’s most important actors – the players, referees and other officials who manage the sport on a daily basis – safe, through education and prevention that turns away match fixers before they can influence the sport.”
The participants of this training program received a specially tailored training on how to prevent match-fixing in football. Training of the trainers is among the first steps in a multi-faceted approach to combat match-fixers through education and prevention, with the aim of ultimately protecting the game’s participants from organized criminals determined to manipulate results.
These 25 certified Interpol trainers are now qualified to deliver ample educational information to players, referees and team officials, which in turn will arm these individuals to properly recognize, resist and report match fixing attempts before they lead to manipulation in football.
“After passing the training workshop these trainers will be able to deliver their knowledge and our clear message to players, referees and coaches in our region. In that way we are able to multiply the knowledge and understanding about the threat of match-fixing within our region tremendously,” said Dr. Laila Mintas, CONCACAF Director of Sports Integrity.
"Players, coaches and officials need to understand that they risk being among the biggest losers in the match-fixing equation," said Dr. Julie Norris, acting Head of the Interpol Sports Integrity Unit. "INTERPOL helps coordinate multi-national efforts to target the match-fixers, and at the same time we want to prevent members of the football family from being drawn into criminal activity. The careers and livelihoods of players, coaches and referees everywhere depend on understanding how to recognize, resist and report match manipulation attempts."
Last year CONCACAF took part in joint INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshops in New York and Panama, and participated in a similar workshop in Guatemala in 2012. A number of additional joint activities are planned for the coming months, in the ongoing fight against match manipulation.