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AIFF conducts first ever FIFA Integrity Workshop

AIFF conducts first ever FIFA Integrity Workshop

AIFF conducts first ever FIFA Integrity Workshop

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) conducted the first ever FIFA Integrity Workshop at the AIFF Headquarters in Dwarka, New Delhi on Tuesday, June 16.

The Workshop which was aimed to introduce the Indian footballing fraternity with manipulations in the game, while also discussing the solutions was attended by all the 8 ISL franchises and 9 I-League clubs.

The first of its kind Workshop was conducted by Ralf Mutschke, FIFA Director of Security; Jacek Wojdyla, Head Of International Affairs; Jonas Pfandler, Manager Competition Analysis EWS; and Javed Siraj, AIFF Integrity Officer.

Speaking on the occasion Mutschke said, “Match fixing is a serious issue in Football and together in coordination with each other, we have to defeat that.”

“FIFA cannot wage the war against match fixing alone and hence, we need the Federation’s support to prevent it,” he added.

The AIFF-FIFA-EWS Integrity Workshop acts as frontrunner of solutions to the problems of manipulative entities and manipulation in the game of Football and is one of the steps taken by AIFF, in tune with the AFC and FIFA mandate, to crop match fixing and betting in the sport.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das maintained the “Workshop make us ready to tackle” the menace.

“This Workshop is an important aspect of the footballing education as it teaches us how to combat manipulative entities in the sport while making us ready to tackle the problem, as and when it arrives,” he stated.

“It is evident with the success of I-League and ISL that Indian Football is on the rise. And the rise of any sport is directly proportional to the rise of manipulative entities. Thus we aim to create a structure which helps to prevent this manipulation. Integrity is a state of mind.”

“It was prudent to take the services of FIFA and I thank them for helping and supporting us. We need to protect our competitions from corruption and we need to protect AIFF from it too,” he pronounced.

To combat match fixing and manipulations in ‘the beautiful game’, the AIFF appointed its Integrity Officer, Javed Sriraj, in August 2014 who further chalked out a detailed roadmap of the action taken by AIFF to protect the integrity of its competitions.

“We have prepared an Integrity Action Plan of AIFF whose guidelines are being followed by all the Clubs. An Integrity network is also created to keep the manipulation in the game in check by declaring the Team Manager as Nodal Officer for Integrity.”

“Over 800 Players have been educated by Integrity briefing and together with the co-operation of everyone, we aim to create an environment which promotes Fair play and prevents match manipulation,” Siraj informed.

“This Workshop shows our commitment towards upholding the integrity of the game,” he added.

With AIFF tying up with the EWS (Early Warning System) of FIFA, the latter provides the AIFF with reports to maintain the integrity of AIFF’s Competitions and prompt the Federation to take action, if necessary and in case of suspicion.

Jonas Pfandler of EWS informed that there were 147 bookmakers involved in the Hero I-League’s Grand Finale Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan on May 31, 2015.

“Integrity has always been an integral part of the AIFF’s philosophy and the informative workshop illuminated the topics of betting, match fixing and other manipulations in the game, which the AIFF is fighting tooth against nail, to curb and to eliminate.”

With the future promising for the Indian football cosmology, integrity plays a vital role in maintaining the equilibrium of things and in safeguarding the game from corruption.

“Authorized Team Integrity Officers will be assigned in the future and workshop such as these will be conducted to educate the Indian footballing world of integrity,” Siraj concluded.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)