FIFA security director Eaton leaves for Qatar job

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ZURICH (AP) -- 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.