International police body Interpol has said it is suspending a 10-year partnership deal with FIFA worth $22m following a corruption probe into football’s world governing body.
Interpol boss Juergen Stock said on Friday that he was suspending the deal set up in May 2011 to create a 10-year “Integrity in Sport” programme.
“In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport programme, I have decided to suspend the agreement,” Stock said in a statement.
“All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organisation, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community,” added Stock.
FIFA has been in the grip of a crisis since the end of May when 14 current or former officials and sports marketing executives were charged following a wave of arrests in Zurich as part of a US investigation into alleged corruption.
The scandal has also cast doubt on the fairness of the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to be staged in Russia and Qatar respectively.
Interpol noted that the agreement with FIFA included a clause stating that “the funding party declares… that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol.”
FIFA reacted quickly in a statement saying it was “disappointed” and that the “success” of the programme “cannot be understated”.
“Our cooperation over the past four years has been a key part of addressing the transnational problem of match fixing,” stressed FIFA.
The programme itself was “unrelated” to the current crisis surrounding FIFA, the global governing body noted.
It called for the programme to be resumed as soon as possible and said it was in contact with Interpol to resolve the issue.