Interpol has suspended a four-year-old agreement with FIFA ©Getty Images

Interpol has suspended a landmark four-year-old agreement with FIFA following investigations into corruption against world football’s governing body.

Under the deal, the world’s largest international police institution was receiving a donation from FIFA worth €20 million (£14.4 million/$22.4 million) over 10 years to create an Integrity in Sport programme.

According to Interpol, this has helped international efforts across its 190 member countries to prevent the manipulation of sporting events and illegal gambling by criminal groups.

Today's decision by Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock, which was endorsed at Executive Committee level, will now see the world police body freeze the use of financial contributions from FIFA.

“In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport programme, I have decided to suspend the agreement,” Stock said.

He added: “All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organisation, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community."

Interpol said that the agreement with FIFA “includes a clause which states that ‘the Funding Party declares notably that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol’".

It said it continued to “closely monitor developments involving FIFA”.

Ronald Noble was the secretary general of Interpol when FIFA unveiled its contribution to the organisation in May 2011
Ronald Noble was the secretary general of Interpol when FIFA unveiled its contribution to the organisation in May 2011 ©Getty Images

When unveiled in May 2011, FIFA labelled its contribution to Interpol as “historic” while describing the grant as “the largest…it has ever received from a private institution”.

Interpol was to have received €4 million (£2.9 million/$4.5 million) in each of the first two years, followed by €1.5 million (£1.1 million/$1.7 million) in each of the following eight years, suggesting that around half of the planned overall contribution may already have been passed on.

Then Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said at the time that by funding a long-term corruption prevention training programme to be designed and implemented by Interpol, “FIFA has taken a significant step towards ensuring the integrity of football worldwide”.

The initiative would, Noble said, “help both Interpol and FIFA achieve their common goal of keeping the world’s most popular sport free of the corrupt influences of transnational organised crime syndicates”.

The initiative was endorsed by Leonard McCarthy, then vice-president of integrity for the World Bank, who said: “Corruption should always be offside.

“Cleaning-up initiatives are a much-needed golden goal against corruption, and an important step towards keeping football worthy of its nickname: the beautiful game.”

Today's announcement came nine days after Interpol disclosed that Red Notices - international wanted person alerts - had been issued for two former FIFA officials, Jack Warner and Nicolás Leoz, as well as four corporate executives, at the request of United States authorities.

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