The FBI has joined a FIFA task force to investigate potential match-fixing at the Qatar World Cup
The FBI will provide 'knowledge and expertise' to the panel.
The FBI will collaborate with FIFA to defend the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar against possible match-fixing.
According to a FIFA announcement, federal detectives from the FBI met with Interpol and gaming regulatory agencies on a panel to review the World Cup and any potential attempts by organised crime groups to rig matches. The panel meeting was ostensibly convened to oversee the tournament's "timely management of integrity problems," and match cheating was high on the agenda.
The FBI's participation comes as no surprise given that federal investigators investigated into possible corruption in football's world governing body seven years ago. A slew of top-level officials, including former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, were barred from the sport as a result of the probe.
According to a FIFA press release:
“The FBI, as the principal law enforcement and investigative service of the United States, will be joining the group to contribute with its experience and expertise, also in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2026.”
FIFA's Integrity Task Force would also monitor "betting markets and in-game action in real time" for the 64 games scheduled for the contentious World Cup in Qatar.
In reaction to various match-fixing incidents that shook international soccer in 2010 and 2011, the Integrity Task Force was formed. It was established at the time that friendly games were frequently targeted by Asian crime syndicates, with officials bribed to show red cards and make judgments that affected the outcome of the game. Several high-ranking officials were also named in the affair.
By fLEXI tEAM