Uefa and Europol join forces in anti-corruption effort

European football’s governing body Uefa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Europol, the European Union’s joint police body, in an attempt to bolster its campaign to stamp out match-fixing in the sport.

Under the MoU, both organisations will provide expertise and constant consultation in the areas of match-fixing and related organised crime, as well as the exchange of information and know-how related to these issues.

Uefa and Europol will work together on joint activities and in implementing relevant projects, in addition to exchanging information on suspected match-fixing cases and the methods used by both individuals and crime organisation to manipulate football matches.

Europol will also provide assistance and advice to Uefa and its 54 member association on the key aspects of contemporary criminal organisation in match-fixing.

Mutual support will be provided through education programmes, while the two parties will also coordinate on matters relating to individuals relationships with law enforcement bodies and Uefa member associations.

“Match-fixing is not a fantasy, it is a reality, a sad and serious reality,” Uefa president Michel Platini said. “Uefa and its member associations know that football authorities do not have the means to deal with this problem by themselves.

“Therefore, I am extremely happy to have the support of Europol. By joining forces, we will have more power. We have to do everything to preserve the integrity of our games.”

Europol director Rob Wainwright added: “The signing of this MoU is an important step forward in the fight against match-fixing and a strong signal showing Europol’s and Uefa’s will to do our utmost to minimise this phenomenon, which needs to be taken seriously.

“It sends an important message to organised criminal groups that football and law enforcement are united in seeking to protect one of the world’s premier sports.”

Meanwhile, fellow football governing body the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has also moved to strengthen its own efforts in the fight against match-fixing by requesting all of its member associations to appoint an integrity officer.

Earlier this month, the organisation devised the AFC Integrity Action Plan, which recommended the establishment of a network of integrity officers at member association level to act as single points of contact for the AFC’s integrity department.

AFC integrity officer Hassan Haider Khan will work alongside the new officers to support the network and oversee intelligence gathering and exchange of information and experience.

Member associations have until June 30 to inform the AFC of their integrity officer appointments.

source : www.igamingbusiness.com

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