Interpol suspends cooperating with FIFA amid corruption scandal

Interpol suspends cooperating with FIFA amid corruption scandal
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Published June 12th, 2015 - 17:56 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Interpol announced that it is suspending a major partnership deal with FIFA amid a probe into corruption charges against the world’s football governing body
Interpol announced that it is suspending a major partnership deal with FIFA amid a probe into corruption charges against the world’s football governing body

International police body Interpol has announced that it is suspending a major partnership deal with FIFA amid a probe into corruption charges against the world’s football governing body.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock announced Friday that he was putting the 10-year deal on hold, ceasing cooperation with FIFA under the agreement aimed at creating a 10-year “Integrity in Sport” program.

“In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport program, I have decided to suspend the agreement,” said Stock in a statement.

Interpol signed the agreement with FIFA in 2011, reportedly receiving EUR 20 million (USD 22 million) from the sports body to fight match-fixing and illegal gambling in football.

Interpol said, however, that it freezes the money donated by FIFA based on a clause in the agreement that stipulates “the funding party declares... that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol.”

Stock said that the partners to Interpol, whether public or private, must “share the fundamental values and principles of the organization, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community.”

FIFA has been hit hard by an ongoing scandal that involves 14 of its senior members. Seven of the FIFA officials were arrested by Swiss officials during a congress in late May in the city of Zurich.

The arrests were part of a probe launched in the United States into allegations of corruption in the global football governing body.

Following the announcement by Interpol, FIFA said it was “disappointed” with the decision, saying the program was a success in combating corruption in soccer, which “cannot be understated.”
 
“Our cooperation over the past four years has been a key part of addressing the transnational problem of match fixing,” FIFA said in a statement, adding that the joint program was itself “unrelated” to the current developments inside the organization.
 
The statement further said that FIFA keeps in contact with Interpol to resolve the issue and called for the program to be resumed “as soon as possible.”
 
The FIFA scandal, which finally forced its President Sepp Blatter to announce his resignation, inflicted serious harm on the reputation of the soccer governing body, with many casting doubt on the fairness of its awarding of the world cup games, especially those which will be held in 2018 and 2022 in Russia and Qatar respectively.
 
It is not clear, however, if and how Blatter has been involved in the scandal. He was reelected FIFA’s president three days before announcing his resignation.
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