In 2012 the Guatemalan Football Association underlined its firm commitment to Fair Play by handing three national team players lifetime bans for their involvement in match-fixing during international games.
Commitment to clean sport, transparency and sportsmanship were among the priorities dealt with by the Guatemalan Football Association (Fedefut) in 2012. Their dedication to Fair Play is highlighted by the lifetime bans given to three national team players for their involvement in match-fixing during international games.
Guillermo Ramirez, Gustavo Cabrera and Yony Flores were convicted in September after being found guilty of participating in match-fixing. The sentence was the result of a lengthy internal investigation conducted by Fedefut’s disciplinary committee.
In doing so, the Guatemalan Football Association sent a clear message to the footballing community that Fair Play comes before its own sporting interests. The three suspended players were veterans of the national set-up, with Ramirez and Cabrera having each played in more than 30 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches, while Flores featured in 14.
The fight against match-fixing is one of FIFA’s main objectives, as has been demonstrated in recent years. After the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, world football’s governing body established a program of investigation-support to combat match-fixing and infiltration of criminals into the game. The system employed over the last two years aims to support police and other investigative and prosecutorial organisations in developing evidence to prosecute people for involvement in match-fixing.
Fedefut has followed suit and deservedly earned a place on the shortlist for the FIFA Fair Play award, which will be presented in Zurich on 7 January at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala 2012.