INTERPOL calls for greater global action to protect sports integrity

An INTERPOL Task Force has called for greater global action to protect the integrity of sports contests. INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF) is a global team of sports manipulation investigators who share information, intelligence and best practices globally to prevent corruption in a wide range of sports disciplines.

High on the agenda this year’s meeting was the protection of e-sport integrity, a discipline involving multiplayer video game competitions often hosted in stadiums to accommodate the large audiences they attract.

With profits in the millions of euros, match manipulation is becoming an increasingly attractive and lucrative area of activity for criminal networks around the world.

Watching and playing sport transcends differences in language, culture and beliefs. But the manipulation of sporting competitions by organized syndicates is a serious threat to the integrity of sport.

The 11th IMFTF meeting brought 52 law enforcement officials from 29 countries, as well as football, cricket, rugby, e-sport and betting stakeholders, to INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore.

Round table discussions saw delegates create a global detection and alert system for suspicions of e-sport manipulation, such as extraordinary surges in betting activity or the deposit of unusually large sums on a bet just ahead of e-sport matches.

INTERPOL’s match-fixing expert team presented a new dedicated INTERPOL criminal information system project – called ETICA – to collect information on corruption in sport and help police share intelligence on the organized crime groups involved in match fixing.

Using false identities to create betting accounts is a growing threat to sport competition integrity.  By using INTERPOL’s database of stolen and lost travel documents, law enforcement officers around the world can check an ID document against 84 million records in seconds.

Private closed-door sessions gave police officers an opportunity to share intelligence on real and new cases as well as on the use of crypto-currencies, offshore companies and web monitoring tools detected during national investigations.

As part of efforts to plan security for the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Euro 2020 football tournament, delegates also saw how INTERPOL has helped counties prevent and investigate match manipulation at sporting events last year, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the South East Asian Games.

The 11th INTERPOL Match Fixing Task Force Meeting took place at INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore from December 10 to 12, 2019.


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