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12 May 2017

INTERPOL and IOC hold joint sport integrity training in West Africa

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have held a series of events in West Africa focusing on competition manipulation.

The first event, a national workshop (10 May), brought together representatives from law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organizations from Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Togo in order to help address the criminal challenge posed by competition manipulation and other threats to the integrity of sport.

Opening the workshop, Police Commissioner and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Côte d’Ivoire, Souleymane Camara, stressed the importance of establishing platforms and partnerships to protect sports competitions from criminal interference. “In essence, sport is a good thing, but can become altered and shaped by society. Today, the integrity of sports is under threat of corruption and competition manipulation,” he said.

In her opening remarks, Namama Fadiga, Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of Côte d’Ivoire, said her country was proud and honoured to host the regional workshop on sports integrity targeting West Africa.

Following the national workshop, several partnership development meetings were organized on 11 May for representatives from the five participating countries. These meetings foster collaboration between high level representatives from law enforcement, various sporting bodies, justice, betting industry and other actors involved in preventing the infiltration of crime into sport. They also assist countries in setting up concrete strategies and cooperation mechanisms between relevant stakeholders to prevent match fixing and other crimes in sport.

Participants at both events were given the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Protecting Sport from Competition Manipulation. The handbook, released in 2016 ahead the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, is a key resource in understanding the dynamics of competition manipulation and how to establish robust national measures to prevent match-fixing and other forms of corruption.

INTERPOL and the IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014. Since then, the two organizations have widened the scope of their joint activities, including close collaboration during the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and capacity building around the world through a joint Global Integrity in Sport Capacity Building Programme.