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08 August 2012

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

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Raising awareness of the issues and threats posed to football by match-fixing and corruption is the focus of an INTERPOL Integrity in Sport workshop co-hosted by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) in Guatemala.

The two-day workshop (7 and 8 August) in Guatemala City, bringing together more than 50 participants from eight countries, is the second in a series of training workshops organized by INTERPOL as part of its initiative with FIFA to develop and implement a global training, education and prevention programme with a focus on regular and irregular betting, as well as match-fixing.

The representative from the Guatemala Ministry  of Culture and Sport, Olga De Noack said sports have great influence in society and the construction of national identity.

“This regional workshop organized by INTERPOL is a historic moment for Guatemala and extremely important and valuable to identify good practice and strategies to better protect football from criminal infiltration,” said Mrs De Noack.

UNCAF President Rafael Tinoco and General Secretary Mario Monterrosa and CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Saenz and Deputy General Secretary Ted Howard attended the official opening of the workshop, underlining the region’s commitment to combating match-fixing and corruption.

Representatives from football associations, governments and law enforcement officials are taking part in the workshop which aims to raise awareness and understanding of corruption in sport, the strategies used by its perpetrators and the methods to detect and counteract them.

Details of FIFA’s Early Warning System and its history will also be shared with participants as part of a general overview of the global sports betting market, in addition to case studies and lessons learned at the national level.

“Effectively tackling corruption in sport and the problem of match-fixing is a long-term process which requires the will and support of all involved, which is why the INTERPOL workshops bring together such a wide range of individuals, each bringing their expertise and viewpoint for others to benefit,” said Michaela Ragg, head of INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport unit.

“The support demonstrated by Guatemala, CONCACAF and UNCAF in co-hosting this two-day workshop clearly shows that the Central America region and Mexico are dedicated to playing their part in this fight,” concluded Ms Ragg.

The eight countries attending the workshop; Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.