LYONS, France, Monday June 15, 2015 – INTERPOL is suspending its relationship with FIFA, amid the corruption investigation and charges against former and current officials from football’s world governing body.
INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, said the decision – made by its Secretary General Jürgen Stock and endorsed by its executive committee at a three-day meeting that ended last Friday – will see it freezing the use of financial contributions from FIFA.
Under a May 2011 agreement, INTERPOL received a €20 million (US$22.4 million) donation from FIFA to create a 10-year Integrity in Sport programme.
— James Montague (@JamesPiotr) June 12, 2015
The agreement included a clause which stated 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,” said Stock.
“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.”
INTERPOL acknowledged that its Integrity in Sport programme has helped international efforts across its 190 member countries to prevent the manipulation of sporting events and illegal gambling by criminal groups. It said it continues to closely monitor developments involving FIFA.
FIFA, meantime, has expressed disappointment with the decision.
Fifa: “We are disappointed to learn of the decision by INTERPOL to suspend cooperation in the fight against match fixing in football.” — Richard Conway (@richard_conway) June 12, 2015
“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 . . . 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,” it said in a brief statement on its website.
“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.”
Earlier this month, it issued an international wanted persons alert for former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and five others who are facing corruption charges.
The Red Notice, as it is called, is not an international arrest warrant. It is simply one of the ways member countries are informed that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority, and seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.