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18 January 2013

INTERPOL conference highlights partnerships and training as key in combating match-fixing

ROME, Italy - To more effectively combat match-fixing in football, delegates at an INTERPOL conference have identified strong partnerships and enhanced information exchange as key areas for further development.

The importance of consistent legislation globally in relation to ‘sporting fraud’ was also highlighted by the some 200 representatives from law enforcement, international organizations including FIFPro, Sportaccord, national football associations, national FA integrity officers, players and referee representatives, betting organizations and gambling regulatory authorities.

The two-day conference (17 and 18 January) entitled ‘Match-fixing: The ugly side of the beautiful game’ organized under the auspices of the INTERPOL / FIFA Training, Education and Prevention initiative, supported by the Italian Department of Public Security, UEFA and FIFA, also underlined the need for coordination procedures at the national level.

The need to develop and implement a broad range of prevention activities through education and training was also highlighted as vital in protecting football from organized crime and professional criminals which make billions from illegal betting through match-fixing and other associated illegal activities.

The head of INTERPOL's Integrity in Sport unit, Michaela Ragg, said the event provided 'a strong base to further advance the collective fight against match-fixing'.

"By bringing together representatives from the widest possible range of organizations involved in combating match-fixing, the conference provided an opportunity to share expertise and identify best practice to ensure that we all move forward together in tackling this global problem," said Ms Ragg.

The conference for representatives from national European Football Associations and law enforcement was the first in a series being held around the world, with an Asian regional meeting due to take place in Kuala Lumpur in February.

John Abbott, Steering Group Chairman, INTERPOL - FIFA initiative

Michaela Ragg, Head of INTERPOL's Integrity in Sport unit