EPFL Pushes for Reforms

EPFL Pushes for Reforms

The EPFL has crowned a series of important events that took place in Manchester this week with the introduction of significant reforms to protect and further develop the professional game and the Leagues’ business models. In addition to the General Assembly held last Tuesday, the vast programme of activities included a Press Conference, at the Soccerex European Forum, on the Professional Football Against Hunger Campaign, with the participation of football stars Patrick Vieira and Hristo Stoichkov.

EPFL introduces Football Betting Manifesto, Code of Conduct and Minimum Standards for Betting Operators

Sports betting was under focus at the Leagues’ General Assembly, with the EPFL pushing the EU institutions and national Governments for long-overdue legislation. Showing that the Leagues are taking all possible steps to preserve the good name and reputation of the “beautiful game” and its economic viability, the EPFL has introduced a wide range of impacting regulatory measures to be adopted by each of its member Leagues. Such measures form part of a proactive rolling programme which includes:

  • The EPFL Football Betting Manifesto;
  • The EPFL Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity; and
  • The EPFL Betting Operators Standards.

The EPFL Football Betting Manifesto indicates the strategic positioning and direction the EPFL and its Member Leagues are taking with regard to a rolling programme of integrity protection developments and the parallel creation of mechanisms that allow a fair financial return to football.

The EPFL has also proposed the adoption, by each of its member Leagues, of a Code of Conduct aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the Leagues’ competitions and providing guidance on the fight against unlawful betting and match-fixing. This document, embodies the EPFL’s commitment to prevent any fraudulent betting practices in football, intends to further support and strengthen its member Leagues’ fight to protect the integrity of their competitions and maintain the overall credibility of the game.

Linked with the EPFL Football Betting Manifesto and the EPFL Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity, the Leagues’ umbrella organisation has also presented to its members the EPFL Betting Operators Standards, to be complied with by betting operators and to assist the Leagues to prevent and fight against offences committed by fraudsters and/or participants. As of now an intensive internal and external consultation will follow, as the final version of the new set of rules are to be approved, within three months, at the next meeting of the EPFL General Assembly.

International Match Calendar – Leagues demand proper engagement in FIFA’s decision-making

FIFA International Match Calendar was another hot subject at the EPFL General Assembly.
Reaffirming its willingness to continue cooperating with FIFA in a constructive fashion, the EPFL gathered important inputs from its member Leagues on a number of possible solutions to rationalise and optimise the current configuration of the International Match Calendar for the cycle 2014-2019.

Reflecting the views of those who have the responsibility of administering day-to-day professional football at the national level – i.e. its 30 member Leagues -, the EPFL supreme body has however vehemently expressed its dissatisfaction with the growing constraints imposed by the current international match calendar and called for proper and meaningful engagement in FIFA’s decision-making process.

Financial Play Fair in progress

The EPFL General Assembly has also provided a fruitful opportunity to further address some of the concrete measures that underpin the UEFA Financial Fair Play concept. On the occasion, the Leagues receive an update on the work in progress made by UEFA. The EPFL and UEFA will continue cooperating to ensure the smooth and efficient implementation of the new regulations as from the football season 2012/2013.

European Leagues united against Hunger

The EPFL General Assembly was followed by a press conference fully dedicated to the Professional Football Against Hunger Campaign and the recent initiatives developed by the European Leagues’ Association and its partners, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the European Commission. The event was held on the main stage of the ‘Soccerex European Forum’ and included the participation of the Campaign’s ambassador Hristo Stoichkov, who recently performed a field visit to Burkina Faso with an EPFL delegation, and with Manchester City’s football star and FAO goodwill ambassador Patrick Vieira.

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