Match manipulation has become a major issue for many global sports organisations and this week, FIFA, one of the first international sports federations to address this issue, participated in two key events to highlight its ongoing commitment to combating match manipulation.
In conjunction with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), FIFA’s Security Director Ralf Mutschke met with members of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and General Administration of Sports in China (GASC) to discuss the recent reforms to football in China which include the signing of integrity declarations, independent checks at football matches and the establishment of a specialised disciplinary processes between the MPS and the GASC to monitor and address suspect behaviours which could indicate match manipulation.
Keen to intensify its fight against match manipulation in Asia FIFA representatives stressed the importance of strengthening co-operation and increasing the exchange of information. FIFA and its subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) will work closely with the CFA to provide education and support to its clubs, players and referees on how to prevent match fixing before the beginning of the new football season in China this March.
Speaking at the event Ralf Mutschke said: “As we have seen this week, match manipulation is a problem not only reserved for football. Increasing awareness of its impact on sport is essential and it is heartening to see that there is such a solid and shared understanding of the necessity to combat this problem here in China. FIFA remains strongly committed to tackling match manipulation in collaboration with our member associations and the relevant law enforcement authorities around the world.”
FIFA emphasised its zero tolerance stance on match manipulation at a symposium addressing the manipulation of sports competitions at the International Centre on Sports Studies (CIES) at Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The FIFA delegation attending Wednesday’s event provided an overview of the vulnerabilities in football that can see match manipulation occur as well as some of the steps necessary to tackle it: detection, information gathering, investigation, sanctions and prevention.
FIFA will continue in its ongoing efforts to combat match manipulation through a variety of initiatives, which includes the Early Warning System, education programmes and a dedicated hotline.