India Signs up With FIFA's Anti-Corruption Watchdog

Updated: 17 October 2014 14:55 IST

Early Warning System (EWS), a FIFA subsidiary, and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a monitoring service agreement aimed at "safeguarding the integrity of the game" in a "global fight against match manipulation", a FIFA statement posted late Thursday confirmed.

India Signs up With FIFA's Anti-Corruption Watchdog
AIFF president Praful Patel (R) along with FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke during a media interaction. © NDTV

India's football chiefs have inked a deal with FIFA to ensure the Indian Super League and other domestic competitions are corruption free, the world governing body said.

Early Warning System (EWS), a FIFA subsidiary, and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a monitoring service agreement aimed at "safeguarding the integrity of the game" in a "global fight against match manipulation", a FIFA statement posted late Thursday confirmed.

The EWS will monitor betting markets on irregularities and analyse specific match situation in its sporting context. If EWS's analysis indicates strong grounds for suspecting match fixing, the AIFF will be alerted. (I-League more important than ISL for AIFF, FIFA)

The year-long agreement covers the ISL and the I-League tournament that features India's top clubs.

FIFA's director of security Ralf Mutschke hailed the deal as an "important step" in the organisation's battle against corruption in football.

Welcoming the deal, an AIFF official told AFP that ISL player have been banned from using mobile phones in the dressing rooms, or meeting anyone -- including family members -- there before or after matches without prior permission. The official added the players are being strictly monitored.

"The (anti-corruption) measures will be implemented in letter and spirit," the official, who did not want to be named, said.

The glitzy 10-week long ISL, which opened on October 12, features former superstars like Italian great Alessandro Del Piero of Italy and Nicolas Anelka teaming up with Indian players in eight franchised clubs.

The league is backed by sports management giants IMG and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and televised by Rupert Murdoch's Star TV.

The AIFF last month appointed a retired federal investigator Javed Siraj as its integrity officer, even though no known case of illegal bookmakers targeting Indian football has been unearthed so far.

But cricket's Indian Premier League, which inspired the creation of the ISL, has been embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal since last year following the arrest of three cricketers and a team official.

A Supreme Court-appointed panel, which is probing allegations of corruption in the IPL, is due to submit its final report next month.

Topics : Federation Internationale de Football Association Football
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