ZURICH: FIFA Director of Security Ralf Mutschke has “drawn positive conclusions” from the world football federation’s campaign over the past year against matchfixing.
A national workshop in Colombia and regional workshop in Algeria wrapped up the security division’s programme for the year. In all, 145 FAs have been involved at various levels of FIFA’s integrity initiative in cooperation with Interpol.
Former German policeman Mutschke said: “The first signs of success are beginning to appear. People are contacting us.
“We are also receiving more quality reports via our hotline. We will only have sustainable success if it becomes the rule that players and officials report attempts by the world of organised crime to recruit them.”
This year, the FIFA disciplinary committee has extended worldwide some 267 punishments imposed by member associations including, recently, those from El Salvador to Ukraine.
Most recently matchfixing suspicions have been exposed in Austria while the FIFA Ethics Committee has taken over investigations in South Africa which had been stalled by government and local association inaction.
The workshop in Colombia also focused on the concept of PDM (Partnership Development Meeting) to discuss building a partnership based on confidentiality.
After the workshop, representatives of football, the police, betting authorities and politics talked about cooperation and defined contact persons.
At the same time as the workshop in Colombia, another workshop – also organised by the FIFA Security Division – was held for the French-speaking countries of North Africa. The PDM concept was also used in Algeria.
These two workshops were the final two to be held in 2013, with the next to be held in India in January.
Mutschke added: “Our goal is to ensure that 90pc of our associations are involved in the initiative by the end of next year. All stakeholders will have to step up their commitment next year, and that includes FIFA.”
Explaining the extent of the FIFA-Interpol initiative, Muschke said: “We train and educate together with the associations. We provide the associations with our expertise through our e-training programme or train-the-trainer courses, but the associations then have to disseminate that knowledge.
“We have to get academies involved too, as there are no age limits to prevention. We can’t make selections based on region or age, and then react differently to that specific target group. It is important that everyone is on board.”