FIFA has launched a new online platform designed to allow individuals to blow the whistle on concerns over match-fixing and corruption in the game.
FIFA said the new reporting mechanism would allow infringements of the FIFA Code of Ethics and violations of FIFA’s regulatory framework relating to match manipulation to be “securely reported” and would be treated with the “strictest confidentiality”. The move comes after an investigation led by Europol this week uncovered an extensive criminal network involved in widespread football match-fixing, with officials stating that governing bodies should “heed the warnings” found in the case. Europol, the European Union’s joint police body, on Monday said a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals, from more than 15 countries, are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix more than 380 professional football matches.
Commenting on the launch of the new platform, FIFA said in a statement: “The reporting mechanism will enable individuals to notify FIFA of potential violations, another milestone in FIFA’s effort to strengthen football governance. The reports, if related to infringements of FIFA’s Code of Ethics will reach Michael Garcia, chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, directly.”
In other news, FIFA’s anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth has hit out at European officials for blocking reforms in world football to further their own careers. Pieth told the Associated Press he is “disappointed with what UEFA is coming out with, with the help of the British and the Germans.” He said countries “making big noises in the past” over allegations concerning FIFA bribery and corruption are now not pressing hard enough for change. Pieth said UEFA president Michel Platini is attempting to silence countries with “unanimous declarations” on their behalf. He added UEFA’s formal proposal in FIFA’s global consultation is “basically trying to cut half” of the modernising agenda set by Pieth’s panel.