FIFA has expressed its disappointment after Interpol suspended an agreement to tackle match-fixing in football.
Interpol, the world’s largest police organisation with 190 member countries, received €20million from FIFA in May 2011 to set up a 10-year programme called “Integrity in Sport”.
The initiative has assisted international efforts to “prevent the manipulation of sporting events and illegal gambling by criminal groups”.
But, at a meeting in Lyon, Interpol endorsed a decision by Secretary General Jurgen Stock to freeze its use of financial contributions from FIFA in light of the corruption scandal that has rocked world football’s governing body.
FIFA is in turmoil after nine past and present officials were indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy and corruption last month. President Sepp Blatter announced his intention to resign six days later.
Responding to Interpol’s decision, FIFA issued a statement that read: “We are disappointed to learn of the decision by Interpol to suspend cooperation in the fight against match-fixing in football.
“The success and importance of this programme cannot be understated. Our cooperation over the past four years has been a key part of addressing the transnational problem of match-fixing.
“As stated by Interpol, the “Integrity in Sport programme has helped international efforts across its 190 member countries to prevent the manipulation of sporting events and illegal gambling by criminal groups. Their ongoing criminal activities require a global response.”
“This successful programme is unrelated to the current issues surrounding FIFA and we believe that this unilateral decision will negatively impact the fight against criminal activity, a goal of which no supporter of the sport can be in favour.
“FIFA remains committed to this important and successful collaboration and will work for its resumption at the earliest opportunity. We are currently reaching out to Interpol to further discuss this matter.”