"--IANS/CMC"
Miami, July 11 (IANS/CMC) The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF) says it is stepping up its fight against match-fixing across the region, and is taking a number of steps to protect the integrity of the game.

The confederation, which governs football in North, Central American and the Caribbean, intends to deploy Integrity Officers throughout the region under its control, as part of the recently developed CONCACAF Integrity Action Plan, reports CMC.

These officers will conduct presentations for players, referees, coaches and club managers - the groups usually targeted by match-fixers.

A major thrust of the Integrity Initiative will see all participants involved in upcoming tournaments and friendly matches, signing an integrity declaration.

According to CONCACAF, these participants will pledge to refrain from any conduct that could damage the integrity of a game, and racist or discriminatory behaviour.

Only last month, CONCACAF dispatched its first Integrity Officer, Joseph Ramirez, to Costa Rica to conduct a three-day workshop dealing with match officiating and the best practices of physical fitness, nutrition, management and integrity.

The session is a joint initiative of football's world governing body, FIFA, CONCACAF and the Central American Football Union, and it is was open to the heads of refereeing departments from 11 CONCACAF-affiliated member associations.

Ramirez is a former general secretary of the Costa Rican Football Federation.

--IANS/CMC

vs/pr/


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