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25 January 2013

CONCACAF hosts INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop

NEW YORK CITY, USA – More than 30 delegates from football, government and law enforcement in Canada and the United States attended the INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop co-hosted by CONCACAF in New York City.

The purpose of the two-day conference (24 and 25 January), entitled ‘Tackling Match-Fixing and Corruption in Soccer’, was to increase awareness and understanding of the key intrinsic issues of match-fixing in soccer, as well as to examine the multitude of characteristics associated with such activity.

“It is an honour for me to open this session organized by INTERPOL and FIFA, and co-hosted by CONCACAF, to emphasize the imminent priority this issue represents not only to the United States, Canada and the CONCACAF region but also to international football as a whole,” said CONCACAF General Secretary, Enrique Sanz.

“At CONCACAF we are determined to educate, identify, prevent and provide appropriate disciplinary sanctions to all professionals involved in any unethical and unlawful behaviour that would undermine the legitimate nature of the game.”

Over the two days, presentations were made by INTERPOL, FIFA and Early Warning System (a company established to monitor matches and to safeguard the integrity of football). Additionally, each national association and other participants shared their experiences and concerns related to match fixing.

“This workshop has the goal to raise awareness of the key contemporary match-fixing issues and threats in football, and to identify good practice and areas for development. The goal is to bring together players, referees, coaches, sports associations, betting regulators and law enforcement to improve individuals’ awareness and understanding of corruption in football, understand the strategies used by its perpetrators and learn some methods to recognize, resist and report them,” said Shawn Bray, Head of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Washington.

“Match manipulation in football must be tackled in the strongest possible way and we are glad that CONCACAF is taking a proactive approach on this subject,” said Serge Dumortier, Senior Security Manager at FIFA. “We must take all the steps necessary to safeguard the integrity of our sport.”

A series of instructional sessions were conducted during the workshop, with topics including an overview of the betting industry, identification of match-fixing threats, governance, education and prevention.

“The football family must certainly be an intrinsic part of the battle against match-fixing through education, surveillance and sanction. However, we mustn’t forget to work in partnership with all other affected sports, governments, media, fans and society as a whole,” concluded CONCACAF General Secretary Sanz.

This is the second INTERPOL-FIFA Integrity in Sport workshop  hosted by CONCACAF in the region. The first was held in August of 2012 in Guatemala City for all members of the Central American Football Union (UNCAF).