FIFA launches UNODC-backed Global Integrity Programme

FIFA has teamed up with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to launch a FIFA Global Integrity Programme, setting an objective of equipping the 211 member associations with the knowledge and tools to identify and eradicate match manipulation.

Reaffirming its commitment to protecting and promoting the integrity of the game, the Global Integrity Programme has been established to improve education and build integrity by sharing advanced know-how and resources with integrity officers.

The programme also reflects the UNODC’s objective of supporting governments and sports organisations in their efforts to safeguard sport from corruption and crime, having already signed a memorandum of understanding with FIFA last year.

Earlier this year, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) revealed that there had been a 48% increase in suspicious betting activity between from 2019 to 2020, with football recording a 25% rise in illicit betting alone.

“Match-fixing is an issue that is very real and threatens the integrity and credibility of football in many countries around the world,” FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, explained.

“Working in close collaboration with experts at the UNODC and alongside other ongoing efforts that FIFA is taking, the FIFA Global Integrity Programme is another important step by FIFA to protect the integrity of football and will play an important role in educating and building capacity within member associations to help fight match-fixing at a local level.”

Organised regionally per confederation, the initiative includes a series of three-module virtual workshops to be delivered to all FIFA member associations.

The first edition of the Global Integrity Programme, dedicated to the member associations from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), launched the first module on 4 March, with the second module scheduled for 16 March.

In addition to the Global Integrity Programme, the governing body has also launched the FIFA Integrity Officers Community Platform – the first-ever community-driven online platform dedicated exclusively to integrity officers across all member associations and confederations worldwide.

Underlining Infantino’s promise that there will be ‘no room for wrongdoing’ in the new FIFA, the platform will bring together a global network of integrity officers, who will be able to share the best practices used to combat match manipulation and promote integrity within the sport.