Interpol sus­pends 20 mil.-euro deal with FIFA


Interpol on Fri­day pulled out of a multi-mil­lion-euro deal with FIFA to pro­mote “in­tegrity” in sport, as the cor­rup­tion scan­dal en­gulf­ing the world’s soc­cer gov­ern­ing body left it in­creas­ingly iso­lated.

The in­ter­na­tional po­lice or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced it was sus­pend­ing a 10-year part­ner­ship deal with FIFA worth 20 mil­lion eu­ros (US$22 mil­lion) for its “In­tegrity in Sport pro­gram.”

Interpol boss Juer­gen Stock noted that part­ners in the pro­gram “must share the fun­da­men­tal val­ues and prin­ci­ples of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

FIFA has been in cri­sis since May af­ter 14 peo­ple con­nected to FIFA were charged as part of a U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged cor­rup­tion.

The scan­dal spec­tac­u­larly brought down FIFA boss Sepp Blat­ter and has also cast doubt on the fair­ness of the bid­ding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to be staged in Rus­sia and Qatar re­spec­tively.

FIFA hit back at Interpol, voic­ing dis­ap­point­ment at the de­ci­sion to sus­pend the part­ner­ship agree­ment, which it called a “suc­cess.”

“Our co­op­er­a­tion over the past four years has been a key part of ad­dress­ing the transna­tional prob­lem of match fix­ing,” stressed FIFA.

The pro­gram it­self was “un­re­lated” to the cur­rent cri­sis sur­round­ing the soc­cer body, FIFA added, call­ing for it to re­sume as soon as pos­si­ble and adding it was in con­tact with Interpol to re­solve the is­sue.

The “In­tegrity in Sport” drive has co­or­di­nated global ef­forts to pre­vent match fix­ing and il­le­gal gam­bling by crim­i­nal groups.

Interpol’s de­ci­sion came a day af­ter an ed­u­ca­tional char­ity launched by soc­cer fan Pope Fran­cis said it would no longer ac­cept money from South Amer­i­can soc­cer con­fed­er­a­tion CON­MEBOL.

Scholas Oc­cur­rentes had been due to re­ceive a US$10,000 do­na­tion from CON­MEBOL for ev­ery goal and penalty kick scored dur­ing the Copa Amer­ica, the South Amer­i­can cham­pi­onship which kicked off Thurs­day in Chile.

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