EPFL, DFL and Transparency International join forces

EPFL, DFL and Transparency International join forces

Pilot project brings together football and anti-corruption organisations to help prevent match-fixing through education

Nyon, Frankfurt, Berlin, 27 March 2013 – The anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI), the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) and the German Football League (DFL) have joined forces on an 18 month project to help prevent match-fixing through education and awareness-raising.

With the exponential rise in globalised on-line betting, which is estimated to be worth more than $700 billion annually, this pioneering programme aims to safeguard the integrity of sporting competitions and the reputation of the game against the threats of match-fixing , especially related with sports betting.

Called Staying on Side, the aim of the project is to develop educational and prevention programmes and materials that can be used by the Football Leagues across Europe to address all target groups including young players, professionals, and match officials. It will draw on the experience gained through a project, organised by the DFL and the German Football Association (DFB), in collaboration with Transparency International Germany and the German Health Agency (BZgA) as well as the Professional Footballs Player Union (VdV).

A workshop in Berlin, on the  21 & 22 of March 2013, brought together experts on the fight against sports betting related match fixing, anti-corruption work, gambling and representatives from a number of European Football Leagues to discuss the role of education in preventing match-fixing.

“An organisation such as Transparency International, which has experience in helping people say no to corruption, can offer support to those in football who have to come to grips with difficult situations. We believe strongly that education and awareness-raising are key to helping solve the problem of match-fixing,” said Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor for sport at Transparency International.

“The EPFL and our Leagues are committed to ensure that our game remains clean from the threats posed by match-fixing and unrestricted and unregulated sports betting. Our members have been implementing and even further developing the measures and best practice recommendations foreseen in the EPFL Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity, and they start with prevention and education. We want to make sure that all key participants in the game – from the youngsters to professional players, including referees, managers and football administrators – are aware and understand fully the risks and dangers, so that incidents of match-fixing, namely those associated with sports betting,  can be better prevented.  That’s also what this pilot project is all about.” said Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the EPFL.

“At the DFL we strongly believe that education and training especially of younger players is a key element of prevention. We want to create a clear understanding and awareness about the dangers and consequences of match-fixing and gambling addiction in order to protect the players and to improve the fight against match-fixing. Our prevention project, part of which is the appointment of an independent Ombudsman, is a contribution to safeguard the integrity and the credibility of our sport. We are very happy that we can develop it further together with our partners TI and EPFL and with other football leagues in Europe,” said J?rgen Paepke, head of the legal department  of DFL.

Note to Editors:

The EPFL, is the umbrella organisation and the common voice of the 29 largest Football Leagues across Europe. It promotes the political, social, cultural, economic and educational dimensions of football and its positive values. The EPFL Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity, which was unanimously approved by all member Leagues, foresees that, among other key measures, all members must put in place educational programmes by 2014. More information on the EPFL Strategic Proposals on Sport Betting is available here.

Contact: Alberto Colombo, Head of Marketing, Media & Communications
T. +41 22 308 5111                          
Ealberto.colombo@europeanleagues.com
W. www.europeanleagues.com

DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga manages the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, the top two professional football leagues in Germany. Its project, Together Against Match-Fixing, was launched 2010. More information on that project is available here.

Contact: Dr. Dirk Meyer-Bosse, Head of Media and Communications
T: +49-6-65005-204
Edirk.meyer-bosse@bundesliga.de
W. www.bundesliga.de

Transparency International is the global anti-corruption organisation with more than 100 partner organisations across the world. The TI chapters involved in the project are in the following countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and United Kingdom.

Contact: Deborah Unger, Manager, Rapid Response Unit
T. + 44 20 8960 2526 or +49-30-3438-20-666
Edunger@transparency.org
W. www.transparency.org

The project is part of a European Commission initiative that has co-funded several different projects in Europe to develop pilot materials and best practice to prevent match-fixing.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission – Directorate General Education and Culture.This publication is the sole responsibility of the author and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of information contained therein. 

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