AIFF holds integrity workshop to fight manipulation in matches

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New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) conducted the first ever FIFA “Integrity Workshop” at the its headquarters here in Dwarka on Tuesday.

The workshop, which was aimed at introducing the Indian footballing fraternity to manipulations in the game, also discussed solutions to the problem. It was attended by all the eight Indian Super League (ISL) franchises and nine I-League clubs.

The workshop was conducted by FIFA’s director of security Ralf Mutschke, head of international affairs Jacek Wojdyla and manager competition analysis Jonas Pfandler.

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 workshop will act as a frontrunner of solutions to the problems of manipulative entities and manipulation in the game.

Kushal Das, AIFF general secretary, said the “workshop made us ready to tackle” the menace of match-fixing and other forms of manipulation.

“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 said.

To combat match-fixing and manipulations, the AIFF appointed Javed Siraj as its integrity officer in August last year.

“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,” Siraj said.

“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,” he added.

It was also revealed in the workshop that there were 147 bookmakers involved in the I-League’s title-deciding match between Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan on May 31.

Mohun Bagan won this season’s I-league after playing out a 1-1 in the match.

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