Member Association Development

Integrity in Football high on seminar agenda

Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Member Associations and Development Department made presentations on its programmes and initiatives to top ASEAN football leaders during the recent FIFA/AFC Member Associations and Development Seminar.

Presidents, General Secretaries and Technical Directors from 12 Member Associations were in attendance for the three-day seminar in the
Malaysian capital city.

AFC Member Associations and Development Director Sanjeevan Balasingam made a presentation to the delegates on Integrity in Football, an
integral part of the AFC President's Initiatives, while the AFC Head of Development, Stuart Larman, explained the AFC Kick Off development

In his presentation, Balasingam explained that match fixers can reach players - including young ones - referees and their assistants, coaches
 and managers, players' agents, club owners, football administrators and national football associations.

He also revealed the ways a match fixer can approach a target such as via a direct approach (gift, money, sexual favour), via an indirect
approach (through family, friends, club ownership, sponsorship), grooming over a long period of time and through threats.

To tackle match fixing, the AFC has devised its Integrity Action Plan which spells out ways to Prevent, Detect and Respond to this menace.

It was also noted that to prevent match fixing, various measures must be undertaken such as improving Governance as well as Raising Awareness and Training. To detect match manipulation, a monitoring and reporting mechanism is being implemented by the AFC, with a Fraud Detection System and a confidential reporting mechanism in place.

To respond to the menace, the AFC's measures include investigations which push for the development of a thorough investigation strategy
including Standard Operating Procedures. The AFC could also mete out severe sanctions on a continental level against those that have been
proven to have manipulated matches. These sanctions may be extended to have a global effect via FIFA.

The AFC is also taking measures to train match fixing targets to Recognise, Reject and Report corruption.

Meanwhile, in his presentation, Larman said there are now 20 AFC Member Associations taking part in Kick Off, a tailor-made programme
taking into account the MAs' unique situations.

Larman explained to the delegates the ten services and incentives provided under the programme, and also provided an outline of the
programme's future development which include a Kick Off Academy through which regional seminars will be held for senior management of clubs and leagues as well as, from 2015, a Kick Off Leaders Programme which is a knowledge exchange forum for Presidents and General Secretaries.

Information was also provided on the AFC President's Initiatives such as the Mini Pitch Scheme, the AFC Expert Pool and the Competition Fund, which contributes towards the Member Associations' financial costs in hosting AFC qualifying tournaments.