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08 April 2014

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

LYON, France – The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) appointment of footballer Simone Farina as ‘Athlete Role Model for the Youth Olympic Games’ has been welcomed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble as ‘an important step in encouraging integrity in sport across all generations’.

The IOC said Simone’s nomination was in recognition of his success as an athlete and his life experiences which ‘will serve as an invaluable model for the young Olympians who will be competing in Nanjing’.

INTERPOL Chief Noble said Simone’s appointment was recognition of the footballer’s continued efforts, particularly with young athletes, to raise awareness and generate engagement at all levels to turn back crime both within and beyond the sporting world.

“The nomination by the IOC of Simone Farina as the Athlete Role Model for the Youth Olympic Games is yet further recognition of the impact he has both on and off the pitch in upholding the highest standards of sporting values,” said Secretary General Noble.

“His integrity and courage is an example to be followed and I am sure the young Olympians, their families, and future generations will be inspired by his story and his commitment,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: “We welcome Simone’s appointment as a role model for the Youth Olympics. He spoke out against match-manipulation and in defence of the positive values of football. That’s why FIFA is proud to have him as an ambassador for Fair Play.”

In November 2011 the former Gubbio defender rejected an offer of EUR 200,000 to fix the outcome of a match and reported the attempted bribe to the police. In addition to his work with the INTERPOL Integrity in Sports programme and as a FIFA Ambassador for Fair Play, in 2012 Simone joined Aston Villa’s Football Development unit where his responsibilities include developing the UK club’s youth programme on integrity in sports.

“On behalf of everybody involved with Aston Villa we are thrilled and delighted that our colleague Simone will be an Athlete Role Model for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Simone is a wonderful man and an inspiration to so many people, and I am certain that his involvement will only help to enhance the Games,” said Paul Faulkner, Aston Villa’s Chief Executive Officer.

As Athlete Role Model, the IOC said Simone’s appointment was ‘significant not only for those athletes participating in the Games, but also for young people around the world.’