INTERPOL

Interpol freezes money donated by FIFA; FIFA inexplicably stunned that Interpol would worry

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It’s one thing for Interpol to have a partnership with an organization many think might be shady, but another thing altogether to appear linked with one being investigated by the FBI.

Interpol, the international police agency, has frozen the $22.5 million donated by FIFA in 2011 as part of a program to police match-fixing in football.

[ MORE: Arsenal charged by FA ]

Seeing that FIFA is under suspicion of being involved in fixing any number of things, from matches to tournament-hosting, in the sport, Interpol’s thinking it’ll find its money somewhere else (Its annual budget is more than $85 million).

Of course, FIFA says the program is “unrelated” to its current well-documented struggles.

From Associated Press:

FIFA seemed to be stunned by the move, and said it was “reaching out” to the Lyon, France-based Interpol for talks.

“This successful program is unrelated to the current issues surrounding FIFA and we believe that this unilateral decision will negatively impact the fight against criminal activity,” FIFA said in a statement.

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

That anything “stuns” FIFA is among the more unintentionally-hilarious things we’ll read today.

Yes, FIFA is somehow still surprised that large global organizations are concerned about having relationships with soccer’s governing body. Perhaps FIFA could’ve better prepared a statement if they hadn’t lost their spokesman to a joke.

You keep doing you, FIFA.

CONCACAF investigation identifies individual who approached Belize on match-fixing

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A statement released by CONCACAF sent to the masses by Rob Harris of the Associated Press confirms they have positively identified the unnamed man who approached the Belize players about fixing the game against the United States.

The statement thanks Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair (pictured, left) individually for not only turning down the undoubtedly tempting offer but reporting the incident directly to officials.

It is incredibly commendable that these players – who had to hold fundraisers to simply make the trip – not only turned down the offer for a hefty sum of money to fix a match which was by all means hopeless in the first place, but then turned down a subsequent offer to keep quiet.

(MORE: Match-fixers tried to get to Belize players before game with U.S.)

The statement says that CONCACAF has partnered with INTERPOL since the beginning of the 2013 Gold Cup to prevent match fixing, and the international crime fighting organization no doubt had a part to play in this individual investigation as well.

CONCACAF said they held held three seminars with participating countries specifically outlining the dangers of match-fixing and how to prevent it, and obviously they worked in this situation.

Here’s to hoping the organizations come down hard on the man or group that attempted to damage the sport, and three more cheers for Belize for resisting riches to protect the beautiful game.