FIFA renews paper commitment with UNODC to fight football crime, but how and where?

September 26 – FIFA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have extended their Memorandum of Understanding “to kick crime out of the game”.

The world federation first partnered with UNODC in 2020 and on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the parties renewed their understanding of what they perceive to be the fight against crime as well as a reinforcement of their safeguarding commitments. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly signed the renewal last week.

“With this new Memorandum of Understanding, we’re striving to put an end to match-fixing, bribery, and corruption, to preserve the game’s beauty for all,” said Waly.

In power since 2016, Infantino has repeatedly claimed that FIFA has left the days of Sepp Blatter and his executive committee cabal behind and that the organisation is no longer toxic. Infantino, whose organisation often invokes a strict separation between football and politics, has been in New York City, meeting with political leaders, including Rwanda’s authoritarian head of state Paul Kagame and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi.

He said: “Through the renewal of this Memorandum of Understanding, I am pleased that UNODC and FIFA have reinforced our joint commitment to kicking crime out of football, and that both organisations remain committed to ensuring fair play and to defending football’s integrity.”

“FIFA has already done a lot of good work with the UNODC in making football cleaner and we will continue to work towards giving girls and boys around the world the chance to fulfil their dreams on the pitch.”

The parties emphasised the importance of safeguarding players. However, FIFA is still dragging its feet over the launch of a safe sports entity.

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