(WFI) Interpol has suspended its $29 million agreement to fight illegal betting and match-fixing amid the bribery allegations engulfing world football’s governing body.
The 10-year deal was struck in May 2011. Under the agreement, Interpol was to have received 4 million euros in each of the first two years, followed by 1.5 million euros in each of the following eight.
On Friday, Interpol decided to suspend the €20 million deal to create a 10-year Integrity in Sport programme. Its executive committee endorsed the decision at its three-day meeting at headquarters in Lyon, France.
Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock said the world police body would “freeze” the use of financial contributions from FIFA. A statement from the organization said the agreement with FIFA had included a clause which states that ‘the funding party declares notably that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol”.
“In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport programme, I have decided to suspend the agreement,” he said.
“All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organization, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community.”
Amid the growing corruption scandal, Interpol last week issued a red notices for Jack Warner and Nicolás Leoz, the disgraced former FIFA officials who face corruption charges by US prosecutors. They are among 14 football and marketing officials indicted by the US department of Justice.
FIFA said it was “disappointed” to learn of Interpol’s decision.
“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,” the federation said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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