As stated in its Statutes, one of FIFA’s core objectives is to promote the integrity of football. As such, FIFA has adopted an effective approach towards the fight against all forms of manipulation and/or the unlawful influencing of football matches or competitions.
The main principles of FIFA’s integrity initiative are the promotion of integrity and the protection of football matches and competitions. This means promoting integrity internally and to the public at all times, as well as protecting football matches and competitions against match manipulation as far as possible and under all circumstances.
Within the FIFA Legal and Compliance Division, FIFA has streamlined and optimised its internal structures by creating the FIFA Integrity Department (FIFA Integrity). FIFA Integrity is in charge of implementing FIFA’s integrity initiative, by establishing preventive measures to protect FIFA competitions, by conducting preliminary investigations in connection with match manipulation and integrity, by engaging with various partners in order to expand its integrity network, as well as by assisting the member associations and confederations to develop their own integrity initiatives.
Match manipulation can be defined as the unlawful influencing or alteration, directly or by an act or omission, of the course, result or any other aspect of a football match or competition.
Betting is a growing industry worldwide and FIFA estimates that the total global turnover from betting on football tournaments is worth billions. While this industry represents a source of funding for the game, it also represents a risk to the integrity of football. FIFA is fully committed to protecting the integrity of football worldwide and has therefore put in place specific rules on betting, gambling and similar activities in football.
One of FIFA’s main objectives is to ensure that FIFA competitions are not affected by match manipulation, which means thoroughly protecting the integrity of all competitions under FIFA’s jurisdiction from match manipulation and integrity-related corruption, whatever the circumstances. Therefore, FIFA has implemented a series of preventive measures.
FIFA provides a dedicated, highly secure and web-based whistleblowing system so that individuals can report any form or knowledge of potential match manipulation or integrity-related misconduct. Users can attach supporting documentation and create an anonymous postbox that allows them to correspond with FIFA without submitting personal information.
In February 2017, FIFA concluded an agreement with Sportradar with a view towards being provided with a full suite of monitoring, education and intelligence services to further strengthen the integrity of football around the globe. Through this key partnership with Sportradar and the use of its advanced Fraud Detection System, FIFA monitors football matches and betting markets in order to identify and analyse any suspicious betting behaviour or patterns across a number of international and domestic competitions around the world.
FIFA understands that to best promote integrity and protect football matches and competitions worldwide from match manipulation and integrity-related misconduct, coordination, joint efforts and support from and to football stakeholders are key. Equally, while each FIFA member association (MA) and each confederation is responsible for the development and implementation of its integrity initiative based on its own strategic priorities, FIFA Integrity is available to actively support such initiatives upon request. The following section outlines some of the ways in which FIFA Integrity can assist and support its MAs and the confederations in the implementation of their integrity initiatives.
In recent years, FIFA has been extremely active in prosecuting match manipulation cases in the context of its respective football matches and competitions. There are several examples of FIFA’s commitment to fighting match manipulation in football around the world.