One of FIFA’s core pillars is to protect the integrity of the game. As mandated in its Statutes, FIFA’s objectives include preventing any method, such as match manipulation or corruption, that might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, players, officials or member associations or give rise to abuse of association football.
In recent years, match fixing has been a particularly high-profile cause for concern in the world of football; however, FIFA started to take significant steps towards ensuring the integrity of football worldwide as early as 2005. Having widened its scope from the early focus on monitoring FIFA’s competitions on the international gambling markets to identifying potentially irregular betting activity, FIFA – along with its integrity partners – has been one of the leaders among sports governing bodies in addressing potential incidents of match manipulation.
Launched in 2012, the FIFA Integrity Initiative has embraced all 211 member associations and focuses on various aspects, including the five main areas of prevention, detection, intelligence-gathering, investigation and sanctions. The FIFA Integrity group was set up to analyse and investigate incidents as well as to assist member associations and confederations on request by establishing basic structures and processes for fighting match manipulation and corruption. This integrated approach aims to cover a range of areas — such as legal and disciplinary matters, betting monitoring, fraud detection and prevention — and involves reviewing policies and procedures, conducting analyses of threats and vulnerability and assessing the effectiveness of regulations and applicable legal frameworks against match manipulation at national and confederation level.
In 2016, FIFA outlined certain measures in the mission-defining document “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future” to strengthen its resolve to protect the integrity of the game and to fight match manipulation by including recommendations to empower all associations to implement good governance and integrity programmes. FIFA continues to involve all of its member associations and the confederations as part of its network prevention and education programmes, as well as to encourage integrity-related cooperation with other international sports federations and stakeholders such as betting monitoring companies and gambling operators.
In February 2017, FIFA has decided to strengthen the global football integrity programme by entering an agreement with Sportradar. Sportradar is responsible for monitoring the various FIFA tournaments, including the FIFA World CupTM and its qualifiers, the FIFA Confederations CupTM, all FIFA youth competitions and the Olympic soccer tournaments. Consequently, under this agreement FIFA will be provided with a full suite of monitoring, education and intelligence services to further strengthen the integrity of football around the globe.
Furthermore, as an organisation, FIFA has streamlined and optimised its internal structures by creating a new Integrity Department within the Legal & Integrity Division, still closely aligning its core match-integrity mission with the independent Ethics Committee and the independent Disciplinary Committee.
The focus in 2018 and beyond will be on building a global integrity initiative helping confederations and member associations to gain the necessary knowledge and capabilities to fight match manipulation at national level and to support the implementation of a range of preventive measures as well as to adopt long-term, sustainable approaches on ethics and integrity matters, including match manipulation. In addition, FIFA is providing a dedicated reporting platform, BKMS, to individuals in order to report any form or knowledge of potential match manipulation or corruption. BKMS is an online platform for the confidential reporting of potential wrongdoing that allows anyone with a suspicion of match manipulation, among other potential infringements, to report it. Reports can be submitted anonymously. This reporting mechanism is a specially secured communication platform and is administered by an external provider that specialises in secure and confidential handling of sensitive information.
All information received via the reporting mechanisms will be handled promptly and treated with the strictest confidentiality under the applicable laws and regulations.