EPFL backs FIFPro and UEFA initiatives to fight against match-fixing

Mattias Grafström  (UEFA), Theo van Seggelen (FIFPro), Andrew Harvey (Birkbeck University) and Georg Pangl (EPFL)
Mattias Grafström (UEFA), Theo van Seggelen (FIFPro), Andrew Harvey (Birkbeck University) and Georg Pangl (EPFL)

Football Integrity is currently one of the most critical issues facing Professional Sport at global level. It is also placed high at the top of the EPFL’s agenda and priorities for the current season.

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), represented by its General Secretary Georg Pangl, participated in the closing conference of the Don’t Fix It project – an anti-match-fixing partnership between the international footballers’ association FIFPro, UEFA and the Birkbeck University of London.

One of the highlights of the event, which took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 3 June 2014, was the presentation of a Good Practice Guide, Don’t Fix It – Protect our Game, designed to help professional football players’ unions to play their part in protecting their member players and football from match-fixing and other threats to integrity.

Within the framework of the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC), composed of representatives of the national associations (UEFA), the clubs (ECA), the leagues (EPFL) and the players (FIFPro Division Europe), the European football stakeholders are unanimously committed to cooperate actively in the fight against match-fixing and corruption in sports.

Within this context, the PFSC working group on integrity matters has recently approved and outlined a series of initiatives which shall be jointly implemented:

  • The creation of a code of conduct for all individuals involved;
  • The introduction of Whistleblowing and reporting mechanisms;
  • The Elaboration and sharing of best practices in education and coordination between stakeholders at national level;
  • Increased cooperation on lobbying activities towards EU institutions, national public authorities and betting operators.

Note to editors
In line with the actions presented by its football stakeholders, the EPFL has also developed its own football integrity related programme, called Staying on Side: how to stop match-fixing. This 18-months project, jointly organised with the anti-corruption agency Transparency International (TI), the German Football League (DFL) and funded by the European Commission, focused on prevention, education and integrity related measures in the fight against match-fixing.

This EPFL project counted with the participation of 9 European Leagues such as the German DFL Bundesliga; the English Premier League and The Football League; Liga Portugal, the Scottish Professional Football League; the Super League Greece; the Italian Lega Serie B, the Norwegian Professional Football League and, last but not least, the Polish Ekstraklasa.

The aim of the project was to develop educational and prevention programme as well as training materials that could be used by the Football Leagues across Europe to address all target groups including young players, professionals, and match officials.

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