Integrity in sport

The global sporting community is faced with an increasing number of match-fixing incidents and allegations of corruption.

Organized criminal groups are involved in corruption in sport and match-fixing on a massive scale. These crimes cross international borders and generate huge profits which are then channelled into other illegal activities.

Estimates of the money made through illegal betting alone run into hundreds of millions of euros annually, while the use of Internet gambling networks has made it extremely easy to bet on matches anywhere in the world.

A coordinated prevention strategy for match-fixing is vital, and must involve stakeholders on national, regional and international levels.

INTERPOL’s response

INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport programme is a global training, education and prevention initiative with a focus on match-fixing as well as irregular and illegal betting.

Its two main aims are to:

  • educate and train key actors in sport on how to recognize, resist and report attempts to corrupt or fix matches;
  • better prepare law enforcement on how to investigate and cooperate in corruption or match-fixing related cases.

The programme offers a number of tools to protect sport from corruption, including national and regional workshops, and e-learning modules.

Since the launch of the programme in May 2011, INTERPOL has held Integrity in Sport events in more than 20 countries delivering direct awareness-raising or training to more than 2,200 individuals from 196 countries as outlined in the annual activity reports.

International cooperation

INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee work together to identify and address issues including doping, match-fixing and illegal or irregular sports betting activities, and attempted corruption of match officials and players. Cooperation was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in January 2014.

In an agreement with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, signed in October 2013, INTERPOL will provide additional support to the Brazilian authorities in ensuring the safety and security of the Olympic Games.

INTERPOL and FIFA entered into a joint initiative in May 2011, with FIFA pledging to contribute EUR 20 million over 10 years to INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport programme.

The first phase programme (2011 – 2014) focused on raising awareness, with the second phase from 2014 onwards, focusing on capacity building with targeted training courses delivered to participants in all regions of the world.

In June 2015, following investigations into corruption against football’s governing body, INTERPOL announced its decision to suspend the agreement which included a freeze on the use of financial contributions from FIFA.

As of June 2015, a total of EUR 11 million had been contributed by FIFA: EUR 4 million per year for the first two years and EUR 1.5 million every subsequent year. In July 2015 INTERPOL terminated the agreement with FIFA and returned the EUR 2.9 million which remained unspent from the donation.

A multi-faceted approach

The Integrity in Sport programme can assist sporting entities, government departments, law enforcement agencies and other relevant stakeholders in developing prevention strategies, integrity units and training courses for specific audiences.

Activities are based on the five core principles below:

  • Partnerships: strategies should incorporate partnerships between national sporting entities and betting organizations as well as public authorities including law enforcement and regulators.
  • Information: all partners need specific advice that can directly assist them in their individual role in protecting the integrity of sport.
  • Coordination: to ensure a comprehensive and unified approach to both the prevention of match-fixing and responses to allegations of match-fixing.
  • Prevention: including awareness raising, training and education, as well as deterrents such as regulations that ensure sanctions for unprofessional behaviour.
  • Proactivity: anticipating threats and putting the necessary preventative measures in place is necessary for the long-term preservation of integrity in sport.

Additional tools

  • INTERPOL Major Event Support Teams (IMESTs) can be deployed to assist member countries in the preparation, coordination and implementation of security arrangements for major events, including sporting events such as the Olympics or FIFA World Cup.
  • Operation Soga works to disrupt the illegal soccer gambling activities of criminal organizations in Asia. In total, the five phases of the operation have made more than 8,400 arrests, seized almost USD 40 million in cash, and closed down some 3,400 illegal gambling dens which handled almost USD 5.7 billion worth of bets.
  • The Match-Fixing Task Force is a specialist network of investigators. It enables member countries to better exchange of intelligence and experience and to develop cross-border strategies against international match-fixing.
09 November 2015

INTERPOL supporting French investigation into athletics corruption

19 October 2015

Peru gears up to protect sport’s integrity

21 September 2015

Joint INTERPOL-IOC training sharpens investigation skills for competition manipulation allegations

17 June 2015

INTERPOL and IOC support national efforts against competition manipulation in Norway

12 June 2015

INTERPOL suspends agreement with FIFA

11 May 2015

Boosting national efforts against match-fixing focus of INTERPOL-FIFA meeting in Canada

06 May 2015

Internationally wanted match-fixing suspect in Italian custody

04 May 2015

INTERPOL issues global alert for potentially lethal illicit diet drug

30 October 2014

FIFA, FIFPro and INTERPOL launch joint campaign to fight match manipulation

29 September 2014

Juventus stars join INTERPOL Turn Back Crime team to show criminals the red card

09 September 2014

INTERPOL and IOC Chiefs meet to develop joint action on sports integrity

18 July 2014

Illegal gambling networks across Asia targeted in INTERPOL-led operation

15 June 2014

INTERPOL statement in response to false report published by the Sunday Times

10 June 2014

INTERPOL training to help law enforcement protect integrity of 2014 FIFA World Cup

07 June 2014

Lionel Messi scores again with INTERPOL’s #TurnBackCrime campaign

05 June 2014

Police and public unite behind INTERPOL campaign to #TurnBackCrime

12 May 2014

CONCACAF signs agreement with INTERPOL to combat match-fixing

08 May 2014

Empowering members of the football community to respond to match-manipulation focus of INTERPOL-FIFA training at UEFA

08 April 2014

INTERPOL congratulates footballer Simone Farina on appointment as role model for Youth Olympics

07 April 2014

Tackling match-fixing in football focus of INTERPOL workshop in Senegal

26 February 2014

Preventing match-fixing and corruption focus of INTERPOL-FIFA conference for Oceania region

30 January 2014

INTERPOL and IOC team up to strengthen sports security and integrity

22 October 2013

Strengthening security at Rio 2016 Olympic Games focus of agreement with INTERPOL

26 September 2013

INTERPOL and FIFA unveil e-learning tools to protect football from match-fixing

23 September 2013

INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation reaches new heights

18 September 2013

Suspected leader of match-fixing gang and 13 others arrested in Singapore

11 September 2013

INTERPOL holds first training for match-fixing investigators

07 March 2013

Croatian police chief visit to INTERPOL focuses on reinforcing border security

21 February 2013

Match-fixing suspect arrested following close police cooperation between Singapore and Italy via INTERPOL

21 February 2013

Match-fixers target of expanded INTERPOL global task force

21 February 2013

INTERPOL conference says coordination essential to combat match-fixing

20 February 2013

Addressing organized crime threats to match-fixing focus of INTERPOL conference

14 February 2013

CONCACAF chief during INTERPOL visit pledges support to investigate allegations of match-fixing in Latin America

25 January 2013

CONCACAF hosts INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop

18 January 2013

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

17 January 2013

INTERPOL, FIFA and UEFA take joint stand against match-fixing at groundbreaking Rome conference

28 November 2012

Stamping out football corruption through education focus of INTERPOL experts meeting in Singapore

12 November 2012

Protecting sport from organized crime the focus of INTERPOL panel at International Anti-Corruption Conference

17 October 2012

INTERPOL applauds appointment by Aston Villa of Italian footballer who exposed match-fixing

28 August 2012

Combating match-fixing and corruption focus of INTERPOL workshop in Southern Africa

08 August 2012

Tackling match-fixing and corruption focus of INTERPOL workshop for Central America and Mexico

18 July 2012

Arrests across Asia in INTERPOL-led operation targeting illegal soccer gambling networks

04 July 2012

Dutch football association visits INTERPOL to boost sports integrity cooperation

02 July 2012

INTERPOL chief praises safe conclusion of EURO 2012 in Ukraine

28 June 2012

INTERPOL Chief gives security perspective on London Olympics in AP television news report

09 June 2012

UEFA European Football Championship safety an INTERPOL priority

25 April 2012

Keeping sport clean needs enhanced policing and prevention, INTERPOL Chief tells summit

13 April 2012

Finland hosts first INTERPOL-FIFA sports integrity workshop

05 March 2012

INTERPOL and Italian National Police launch inaugural high-level seminar under FIFA grant to fight match-fixing

02 March 2012

INTERPOL Chief praises appointment of Ralf Mutschke as head of newly-created FIFA Security Division

09 May 2011

FIFA makes historic contribution to INTERPOL in long-term fight against match-fixing