In partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), FIFA has expanded its world football protection strategy by implementing the Global Integrity Programme.
The programme places a strong focus on education, with the intention of strengthening integrity within all 211 member organisations by exchanging resources and information among different Integrity Officers in order to deter match manipulation.
Memorandum of agreement
FIFA and the UNODC had already reached a memorandum of agreement in September 2020, in which the two bodies vowed to reinforce their mutual collaboration in order to deter organised crime organisations from infiltrating sports.
The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) announced earlier this year that irregular betting behaviour rose by 48 percent from 2019 to 2020, with football alone witnessing a 25 percent rise in illegal betting.
Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA said: “Match-fixing is an issue that is very real and threatens the integrity and credibility of football in many countries around the world.”
The curriculum, which will be organised on a regional basis, will consist of a series of three-module workshops that will be offered to each individual football confederation. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will receive the first module on March 4, followed by the second module on March 16.
Battle against corruption
The initiative represents the United Nations’ goal of assisting governments and sporting organisations in their battle against corruption and organised crime as part of its cooperation with UNODC.
Infantio added: “Working in close collaboration with experts at the UNODC and alongside other ongoing efforts that FIFA is taking, the FIFA Global Integrity Programme is another important step by FIFA to protect the integrity of football and will play an important role in educating and building capacity within member associations to help fight match-fixing at a local level.”
FIFA Global Integrity Programme
FIFA also announced the introduction of the FIFA Integrity Officers Community Platform, an online project led by the community with the aim of appointing committed integrity officers to international member organisations and confederations.
The global governing body wants to use the secure forum to build a global network of integrity officers that will be able to exchange knowledge, expertise, and best practises in order to enhance the effectiveness of the organization’s overall initiative against match bribery and help preserve football’s integrity.
Both the Global Integrity Programme and the Community Platform are part of FIFA’s ‘Vision 2020-23: Making Football Truly Global,’ which includes a pledge to fight match fixing and betting abuse through integrity campaigns, transparency processes, and educational programmes.