CONCACAF targeted match fixing in the region when they brought 30 delegates from football, government and law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada to the INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport conference in New York City on Jan. 24th and 25th.
The conference, ‘Tackling Match Fixing and Corruption in Soccer,’ aimed to increase awareness and understanding of the key issues of match fixing and the symptoms and characteristics associated with it.
In the digital age, match fixing has become a viral global epidemic affecting every sport. As the most widespread game in the world, with millions of fans and high financial stakes, football/soccer has become the prime target for unlawful deals and a nesting ground for illegitimate transactions.
For more information, read MLS confronts match fixing.
“Match manipulation in football must be tackled in the strongest possible way and we are glad that CONCACAF is taking a proactive approach on this subject,” said Serge Dumortier, Senior Security Manager at FIFA. “We must take all the steps necessary to safeguard the integrity of our sport.”
Over the two days in New York City, instructional presentations were run by INTERPOL, FIFA and Early Warning System (a company which monitors soccer matches for fixing). INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its role is to enable police around the world to work together, using a high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support to meet the growing challenges of fighting crime.
What’s the problem – A Global Picture
Corruption in Football: What’s the problem in your country and how do you address it?
Betting – how does it work?
Match-fixing – What’s the response?
FIFA – Legal operations and governance
Establishing Good Governance
Training, Education and Prevention – INTERPOL’s IST training programme
What Do We Need to Do? Key issues & best practice
Additionally in the two-day program, each national association and other participants shared their experiences and concerns regarding match fixing.
“The goal is to bring together players, referees, coaches, sports associations, betting regulators and law enforcement to improve individuals’ awareness and understanding of corruption in football, understand the strategies used by its perpetrators and learn some methods to recognize, resist and report them,” said Shawn Bray, Head of the US National Central Bureau in Washington.
As part of CONCACAF’s commitment to preserving the integrity of the game and in alignment with FIFA guidelines, the confederation is identifying necessary preventive and responsive measures and providing educational courses and trainings. CONCACAF is also exploring legislation that will provide the context for sporting laws.
“At CONCACAF we are determined to educating, identifying, preventing and providing appropriate disciplinary sanctions to all professionals involved in any unethical and unlawful behavior that would undermine the legitimate nature of the game,” said CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz.
This is the second Interpol-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop CONCACAF hosted in the region. The first one was held in August of 2012 in Guatemala City for all members of the Central American Football Union (UNCAF). A third workshop for the confederation’s Caribbean members will take place in Panama at their Congress in April.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, one of the six continental confederations of FIFA, serves as the governing body of football for 40 national associations from Canada and the U.S. in the north to French Guyana in the south.
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