Interpol suspends agreement with FIFA

FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio addresses a press conference

FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio addresses a press conference
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio addresses a press conference

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) suspended its 10-year partnership deal with world football’s governing body FIFA over its corruption scandal.

Interpol announced the decision to suspend its Integrity in Sport programme, a 10-year project funded by a $22 million donation from FIFA.

The decision would see the world police body freeze the use of financial contributions from FIFA.

Interpol’s executive committee endorsed the decision at its three-day (June 10-12) meeting at its headquarters here.

Interpol’s agreement with FIFA 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,” Jurgen Stock, secretary general of the agency, said in a statement on Friday.

“All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organisation, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community,” Stock added.

Interpol would, however, continue to closely monitor developments involving FIFA.

FIFA expressed its regret at the development.

“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,” a FIFA release said on Friday.

“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,” it added.