FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly have reaffirmed their dedication to eradicating crime from football by renewing their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The renewed MoU between FIFA and UNODC underscores their joint commitment to protect the integrity of the game and prioritize safeguarding for children, young adults, and vulnerable athletes. The agreement also aims to raise awareness and build capacities to combat corruption and crime within the football community. Furthermore, both organizations have agreed to support the development of a new UNODC global network, fostering collaboration between law enforcement, anti-corruption authorities, and sports organizations.
Ms. Waly emphasized the unifying power of football and the importance of preserving its integrity, stating, “Football unites people from all corners of the world – young and old, boys and girls. It can promote healthy lifestyles, provide new opportunities, and inspire millions to achieve their goals both on and off the pitch.”
Mr. Infantino expressed his satisfaction with the renewed commitment, saying, “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 organizations remain committed to ensuring fair play and defending football’s integrity.”
This collaboration between FIFA and UNODC began with the initial MoU signed in Vienna in 2020 and has since yielded positive results. Notable efforts include campaigns encouraging individuals in the football community to report corruption through FIFA’s confidential reporting platforms and the launch of the Global Integrity Programme in March 2021. This program equipped FIFA member associations and criminal justice authorities with knowledge and tools to prevent and combat match manipulation through a series of workshops.