Gianni Infantino tells major conference FIFA (https://www.FIFA.com) collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has “achieved a lot”; the two organisations first signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2020; FIFA President vows to continue working in tandem to protect football’s integrity.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has told the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) 10th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption the two organisations can be proud of their collaboration, and that FIFA “remains firmly committed” to ensuring the integrity of football. In line with the fight to rid FIFA and football of illegal malpractice led by Mr Infantino since becoming President in 2016, FIFA and the UNODC have been working closely on combatting corruption in the beautiful game since they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at UNODC headquarters in Vienna, Austria, in 2020.
Their collaboration led to the Global Integrity Programme, unveiled in March 2021, which provided all 211 of FIFA’s Member Associations with the knowledge and tools to prevent and combat match manipulation via a series of online workshops. The MoU was renewed by Mr Infantino and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly in September this year, and at a special session on ‘Safeguarding Sports from corruption’, the FIFA President praised the partnership with the UNODC, which has provided a great framework for technical exchange and capacity building.
“The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in New York in September this year shows how both our organisations are firmly committed to maintaining the integrity of football worldwide,” Mr Infantino told delegates including representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the European Union, UNODC member states, and other high-level global stakeholders in the fight against corruption and economic crime. “Football is a multi-billion dollar global industry, which makes it a potential target for corruption and other kinds of criminal activity and that is something we should avoid and combat to ensure that the playing field is always level.
“Our close partnership, which now has a framework for the future through to 2028, has already been highly productive and impactful. We have collaborated on more than 60 awareness-raising and technical capacity-building projects, and we can be proud of what we have achieved.” Mr Infantino reaffirmed to the conference FIFA’s determination to continue fighting to keep football clean, and pledged support to the UNODC’s Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network), an information-exchanging platform for those combatting corruption in all walks of life.
“We might not be able to eradicate everything ugly that scars the beautiful game, but we will certainly try,” the FIFA President said in his message to delegates at the week-long event in Atlanta, USA. “I can assure you that FIFA remains firmly committed to that and that FIFA will continue working tirelessly with governments worldwide and with the UNODC towards our common goal of a fair game for all.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FIFA.
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