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Interpol suspends $22M FIFA project during corruption crisis

Interpol suspends $22M match-fixing project with FIFA during soccer body's corruption crisis

Interpol suspends $22M FIFA project during corruption crisis

LYON, France (AP) -- Interpol suspended its 10-year, 20 million euro ($22.4 million) partnership with FIFA on Friday while soccer's governing body is implicated in bribery allegations.

The international police liaison group said it will "freeze the use of financial contributions from FIFA" which are used to fight match-fixing.

Interpol secretary general Juergen Stock took the decision "in light of the current context surrounding FIFA."

"All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organization," Stock said in a statement.

Last week, Interpol issued a global alert about two former FIFA officials and four marketing executives who face charges in the United States including racketeering and corruption.

The six are among 14 soccer and marketing officials indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a widening corruption investigation. Four more men have made guilty pleas and further indictments are expected.

An Interpol alert was issued for disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is linked to $10 million payments channeled through FIFA as apparent bribes to vote for South Africa as the 2010 World Cup host. Warner has been let out on bail in his native Trinidad and Tobago and is to return to court on July 9.

In May 2011, FIFA agreed to fund a 10-year program to tackle match-fixing operated from an Interpol base in Singapore.

The timing of the deal signed at FIFA headquarters in Zurich -- three weeks before a presidential election -- was criticized as a campaigning tool used by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

The agreement includes a clause that FIFA must be "compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol," the police body said Friday.

Blatter has said he will step down as president as a result of the investigations into soccer corruption.

Updated : 2021-09-21 09:38 GMT+08:00