Interpol Suspends Anti Match-Fixing Partnership with FIFA Over Corruption Claims
Interpol has suspended its partnership with FIFA in the wake of a huge corruption scandal.
In a press release issued this morning, Interpol point to an agreement with FIFA dating back to 2011, which created a 10-year Integrity in Sport program meant to fight against match-fixing and illegal gambling.
The plan was funded by a € 20 million (US$ 22.51 million) donation from the international football organization.
However, the agreement contained language requiring that FIFA’s activities “are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol”, a condition that has been thrown into question with allegations of large-scale bribery against senior officials.
The future of the Integrity in Sport program is now uncertain. Interpol has frozen funding from FIFA, but maintains that the program’s end goals still “require a global response”.
FIFA fired back with a press release of its own. The statement laments the loss of the project, which FIFA says is “unrelated to the current issues surrounding FIFA”. FIFA wishes to resume the partnership as soon as possible, it says.
FIFA has found itself at the eye of an enormous corruption storm for weeks now, which began in late May with the arrest of seven high level officials in Zurich.
Within a week, Interpol had put out red notices on six people linked to FIFA’s activities.
The organization faces allegations of bribery in a scandal that reaches all the way to the highest echelons of decision-making.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigned last week, and further claims have now surfaced that he was aware of and agreed to corrupt transactions among his closest colleagues.