In a major unison to fight the threats posed by crime to sport, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have joined together to strengthen youth resilience to crime and substance use through the provision of life skills training.
UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and FIFA President Gianni Infantino signed the MoU in this regard the other day. The MoU was signed at a time when efforts are on to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on sport.
The agreement also sought to leverage the two organizations’ respective strengths to ensure a positive impact on the global fight against corruption and crime in and through sport, and to enhance the positive influence of football on the world’s youth, by building their resilience to violence and crime and promoting fair play, team work, non-discrimination, tolerance and respect.
The UN organisation also agreed to participate in a consultation process launched by FIFA, which includes sports organisations, governments and specialist agencies intergovernmental authorities with the objective of establishing an independent, multi-sports, multi-agency international entity to investigate abuse cases in sports.
Noting that sports supported the development of children and youth in a big way, Waly said sport was needed more than ever in COVID-19 situation to make people healthier and happier and bring jobs back. “But in order to harness the power of sports we need to protect sports integrity,” Waly said.
Meanwhile Infantino said that FIFA since 2016 was taking significant strides in relation to good governance and in the area of football integrity, including the fight against match manipulation and safeguarding of children in football.
“Today’s signature of the Memorandum of Understanding with UNODC is a milestone for the organisation and underlines the absolute commitment of the new FIFA and myself to a zero tolerance policy on corruption in football: never again! It also shows our commitment to put football at the service of society and to use it as a tool to support the achievement of public policy objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Infantino said.