Europe

Interpol suspends €20m Fifa partnership

Interpol file pic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Interpol said its partners "must share the fundamental values" of law enforcement

Interpol has suspended a joint anti-match-fixing programme with Fifa over allegations of corruption against the football governing body.

The international police agency is freezing the €20 million (£14m) donated by Fifa in 2011 for the programme.

The 10-year "Integrity in Sport" agreement was intended to combat match-fixing and illegal gambling.

Fifa is under investigation by authorities in the US and Switzerland for alleged bribery and corruption.

"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," Juergen Stock, the head of Interpol, said in a statement.

"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," he added.

The agreement between Interpol and Fifa stated that the football body must be "compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol".


Image copyright AP

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'Unrelated to allegations'

A spokesperson for Fifa told the BBC that the organisation was "disappointed" by Interpol's decision.

"The success and importance of this programme cannot be understated. Our co-operation over the past four years has been a key part of addressing the transnational problem of match-fixing."

The statement added: "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."

Fifa was "reaching out to Interpol to further discuss this matter", it said.

Last month, 14 current and former Fifa officials and sports marketing executives were charged over allegations of corruption and bribery following a years-long US-led investigation into the organisation.

The scandal has raised questions over the legitimacy of the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

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