FIFA Launches Website to Fight Corruption

PHOTO: Michael J Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee.

AFP/Getty Images

Two days after Europol announced an ongoing investigation regarding a worldwide soccer match fixing operation spanning 15 countries, FIFA, soccer's world governing body, launched a new "reporting mechanism" intended to allow anonymous reports alert FIFA of any illegal activities surrounding matches or match officials.

The website is part of FIFA's Fair Play initiative, which focuses on social responsibility surrounding soccer. In a press release, FIFA stated, this "…regulatory framework is intended to ensure that all statutory rules and rules of conduct are complied with at all times, and without exception by FIFA's stakeholders, setting standards for legal and ethical behavior."

The website is the first step taken by FIFA to help clamp down on rampant ethics violations, including bribery and vote-buying. Europol's investigation suspects as many as 680 soccer matches are under suspicion of taking part in match fixing and bribery, including Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.

Late last week, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on FIFA's website, "This will only work if these two committees (ethics and compliance) also will be installed in all national associations and in the confederations."

How FIFA plans to use the anonymous information remains unclear, but it could quite possibly open a pipeline between fans and FIFA in helping curtail corruption in soccer.

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