Danish FA Chairman calls for Interpol to investigate sports organisations
Danish FA Chairman Allan Hansen wants tougher action against corruption in sports organisations. Photo (c) DBU
After many years of loyal support to sitting FIFA presidents the Danish FA, Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU), seems to have had enough.
In a surprise declaration to the football newspaper Tipsbladet, the Danish football chairman Allan Hansen – also an Executive Committee member of UEFA – suggests the establishment of an international investigation unit into sports fraud and corruption.
Allan Hansen, himself a former police officer, motivates the suggestion with the recent corruption affairs and allegations in FIFA and his experience as a member of the UEFA working group against match fixing. The Danish FA still backs Blatter – and did so also before the surprise withdrawal of his rival Mohamed Bin Hammam in the presidential race – but wants to see tougher action against corruption:
“Football and FIFA have a two-sided problem. You have the cases in which the evidence is at hand or you can get it, like with [former FIFA ExCo members] Adamu and Tamarii. In these cases the internal bodies of FIFA can take over at once. But we fall short when we need to undertake a real investigation and produce the proof. We do not have the required police authority,” Allan Hansen says.
Hansen stresses that in a legally secure community you have to uphold the presumption of innocence as long as no violation of rules is proven.
“I know from my time in the police that this can be frustrating if you are deeply involved and have reasonable grounds for suspicion. So I am advocate for making an international police investigation unit. We as sports leaders cannot do it ourselves. But if the international community could agree to let Interpol investigate sports corruption, it would be fine.”
According to the Danish FA chairman the recent donation of 20 million dollars from FIFA to Interpol will not solve the issue, although it is a positive move:
“It is mainly an education project and will fall short of solving even the problem of match fixing. But when we have this deal with Interpol, why not also ask them to carry out investigations into rumours of corruption in the world of sport? These cases often cross national boundaries, and it can be difficult to establish where the legal venue is,” Allan Hansen states.
Before Interpol can act efficiently, however, the once police officer Allan Hansen believes legislation and law enforcement must be harmonized internationally. For instance, all countries must find a common definition of sporting fraud.
The fight against corruption will take on another character than the fight against doping, he Danish football chairman points out:
“Match fixing, corruption and trafficking of young players is organized like the trading of hard drugs. The authorities have to get the proof. I was 30 years in the police and often had people telling me stuff of the same kind that Lord Triesman recently told [in a hearing the British parliament]. It becomes one person’s word against another’s, and people won’t tell it in public.”
“It is no use that as a chairman I call in a football leader and say I have heard that he has taken money under the table. We will need an effort like in the Bochum case [German court case against match fixers] with wire-tapping and sworn testimonies in court.”