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25 April 2016

Tackling match-fixing focus of INTERPOL and IOC meetings in Belgium

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Protecting clean athletes from competition manipulation was the focus of a partnership development meeting organized jointly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL.

The meeting brought together key figures dealing with the national prevention of competition manipulation including representatives from law enforcement, the federal prosecutor's office, the Belgian Olympic Committee, national sports federations, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) Secretariat, the National Lottery and relevant ministries.

Key areas for discussion were the mechanisms in place for a national coordinated framework and identifying ways to overcome obstacles to cross-sector cooperation for efficient investigations. Exercises with real-life scenarios allowed the participants to experience how specific operational collaboration between sport, law enforcement and betting regulators and operators can be achieved.

The event on Friday 22 April was preceded by a two-day meeting of the INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF), during which the IOC presented the measures it will take to protect sport’s integrity at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Established in 2011, the IMFTF was created to support member countries’ efforts to combat match-fixing activities under the auspices of INTERPOL’s Crimes in Sport programme.

This eighth meeting on 20 and 21 April was officially opened by Catherine De Bolle, Commissioner General of the Belgian Federal Police and European Delegate on the INTERPOL Executive Committee, who highlighted the threat posed to society by match-fixing, and the need for a coordinated response.

A total of 39 participants from 17 countries, INTERPOL, Europol and representatives from the IOC, Council of Europe, UEFA, Belgian Federal Prosecutors' Office, Sport Flanders and Sportradar also took part in the meeting to exchange information and provide updates on current activities in tackling match-fixing worldwide.

Participants were also briefed on INTERPOL’s upcoming Operation SOGA targeting illegal football gambling activities during the Euro 2016 tournament in June and July and hosted by France.