Sports Integrity Workshops protect the game

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Prevention and education pertaining to match-manipulation is a key aspect of CONCACAF’s commitment to protecting the game.

That’s what made last month’s first-ever Sports Integrity Workshop in the Caribbean so crucial to the effort.

Two INTERPOL-certified CONCACAF Integrity Officers were in Guyana, June 12-13, to conduct tailored training sessions with national team players, members of the country’s eight elite clubs, as well as referees and officials associated with the Guyana Football Federation.

“The main key in the fight against match-manipulation is to implement comprehensive prevention measures for all primary target groups susceptible to match-manipulation,” said Dr. Laila Mintas, the CONCACAF Director of Sports Integrity. “These groups especially include players, referees and coaches, as well as team administrators and club managers. The overall aim should be to teach and motivate these target groups, in line with the slogan to RECOGNIZE, RESIST and REPORT approaches to manipulate a match in order to protect themselves for suffering any consequences.”

The program included information on how match-manipulation works, the terminology of match-manipulation and how the criminal elements will attempt to approach potential target groups in order to manipulate a match.

Strategies on how individuals should react if they are confronted by a potential match manipulator and the CONCACAF regulations pursuant to the topic were reviewed.

Particular focus concentrated on the obligation to report such interactions to the CONCACAF Integrity Department. The CONCACAF Code of Ethics, created in 2014, contains a regulation stating that every match-fixing approach needs to be reported immediately and if someone doesn’t do so, that individual can be sanctioned by the Code with up to a life-time ban.

The CONCACAF Integrity Officer Program is only one part of the broad CONCACAF Sports Integrity Program. All CONCACAF member associations can request that INTERPOL-certified Integrity Officers from CONCACAF to conduct similar trainings in their own countries.

Currently, more than 3.350 people across the CONCACAF region have received such training since it was launched in May 2014. More prevention and education Sports Integrity Workshops are already planned for this year.

The workshop in Guyana was the second Integrity workshop this year after, following one held in Panama last March.