Planning is under way for Russia to host its first ever FIFA-INTERPOL Integrity in Sport seminar, following a productive meeting between the Football Union of Russia and FIFA’s Security Department at the Home of FIFA in Zurich this week.
The Russian FA delegation, led by President Nikolai Tolstykh, had fruitful discussions with FIFA’s Director of Security Ralf Mutschke on strategies to fight against match manipulation and corruption in football.
At the centre of the talks was the impact of a bill signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin in July that toughens the punishment for match-fixing. President Tolstykh gave a briefing to FIFA with further details on the new law and the likely implications for football in Russia.
Another key outcome of the meeting was to confirm the Integrity in Sport seminar for October or November this year, with FIFA agreeing to organise the event in cooperation with INTERPOL and the Russian FA.
“We’re delighted that the Russian FA has shown a strong commitment to align its strategies with FIFA to protect the integrity of football,” said Mutschke following the meeting.
“FIFA has a zero-tolerance approach towards match manipulation but we cannot succeed alone. The support of our member associations and governments is crucial and that’s why the discussions have been so encouraging.”
“The Integrity in Sport seminar planned for later this year will be the first of its kind to take place in Russia but is part of a wider programme of national and regional workshops organised by FIFA and INTERPOL. It will bring together key stakeholders from the sports world, the betting industry, and law enforcement agencies to discuss ways of tackling this growing threat to football.”
FIFA has partnered with INTERPOL by establishing a ten-year programme targeting match manipulation, which focuses on the pillars of training, education and prevention.
Other initiatives include the signing of an integrity declaration by officials, the monitoring of the betting market via FIFA’s subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) and the setting up of an e-learning ethics tool, an integrity hotline and e-mail address, and a confidential reporting system.