FIFA security director Eaton leaves for Qatar job

FIFA security director Chris Eaton is leaving soccer’s governing

body just weeks after he launched a global campaign to fight

match-fixing.

FIFA said Friday that Eaton will join the Qatar-based

International Center for Sport Security in May as its Director of

Sport Integrity.

Eaton was expected to lead FIFA’s yearlong campaign to

investigate corrupt players, coaches, referees and officials after

a spate of match-fixing and allegations in dozens of countries

exposed the multibillion-dollar criminal trade in illegal and

irregular betting.

”Needless to say, FIFA remains fully committed to the fight

against match-fixing, an area where it has undertaken pioneering

work,” the governing body said in a statement. ”FIFA will appoint

in the coming weeks a replacement for Chris Eaton, who will work

together with his successor over the next few months to ensure a

seamless transition and hand over the various ongoing

investigations.”

Eaton, a former detective from Australia, had brought a new

rigor to FIFA investigations since he joined from Interpol ahead of

the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

”I am sad to be leaving FIFA, but I am pleased to take with me

an experience and knowledge that only FIFA within the current

environment can provide,” Eaton said in a statement.

Eaton created a team of investigators based in London, Colombia,

Malaysia and Jordan that visited 60 countries last year following a

trail of cases linked to southeast Asian fixers and illegal

gambling operations.

FIFA estimates that fixers make between $5 billion and $15

billion each year from manipulating matches across all sports.

Eaton also helped FIFA and Interpol link up in a $26.3 million

anti-corruption project in Singapore to educate soccer officials

over the next 10 years.

”I am taking a new challenge that will encompass all sports,

many of which could learn from FIFA’s approach to combatting

match-fixing,” he said.

The ICSS advises governments and sports federations on security

issues and protecting sports from organized crime.