Interpol-COSAFA: Can it stop the rot?

The Council of Southern African Football Associations recently hosted a new anti-match-fixing pilot project created by Interpol and FIFA.

Delegates at the workshop.
Delegates at the workshop.

Dubbed “Train the Trainers” the project trained individuals to become educators in their own countries on the subject of match fixing, a scourge that has seen Zimbabwe get worldwide coverage for all the wrong reasons.

It is still everyone’s guess whether the workshop will solve the fast-spreading scourge, but some positives can still be drawn from what it stands for.

Enough willpower, proper administration and a strong rapport between member associations governing the sport and their governments will see the continent, and indeed Zimbabwe, tightening the loose screws that have left their game exposed to criminals.

“The workshop set out to train the 14 individuals so that they may in turn take that knowledge back to their own territories and train their local referees and players on the subject of match-fixing especially how to recognise approaches for what they are, how to resist such approaches and, most importantly, how to report them,” said Cosafa spokesperson Lynda Greef.

A second workshop was organised in Victoria Falls, where participants from Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe underwent the same training a few days later.

“Southern Africa has been hard-hit by match-fixing scandals over the past few years and COSAFA is honoured and grateful to have been requested by Interpol and FIFA to work alongside their initiative in an effort to combat this blight on our sport,” said Cosafa President, Suketu Patel.

“Following the successful hosting of Interpol’s Integrity in Sport workshop last year that sought to educate administrators in the Southern Africa region on the spread of match-fixing and how to combat it, COSAFA hosted the same course for French speaking countries in late October.”

Comoros Islands, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles participated from the COSAFA region, while the three French-speaking countries from the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), Burundi, Djibouti and Rwanda, also attended.

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