Monday , December 5 2022

Fight the fix: preserving European football integrity!

Through joint efforts with its national associations, clubs, other sporting governing bodies and national and international authorities, UEFA is increasing the focus on competition integrity by introducing a new course in the field of anti-match-fixing.

Building on its longstanding integrity work, UEFA has recently launched Fight the Fix (FTF), a new academic education programme tackling match-fixing issues in sport. Organised in collaboration with the University of Lausanne’s (UNIL) School of Criminal Justice, the programme helps national association’s integrity officers and representatives of institutions involved in fighting match-fixing to deep dive into each essential aspect of the fight: detection, intelligence, prosecution.

Fight the Fix, which staged its first sessions last week, provides participants with intelligence-gathering and investigation skills needed to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute match-fixing cases. It focuses on hands-on practice, with participants solving a fictitious match-fixing case, following the full intelligence and investigation process from identification to prosecution before a final moot court simulating sports arbitration proceeding.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, said, “Match-fixing is one of the biggest threats to the integrity of the beautiful game and it is UEFA’s duty to remain at the vanguard in the fight. Maintaining trust in the sport means increasing expertise and support for those involved in the fight at national and international levels.”

The first session, held early November at UEFA HQ and UNIL premises, focused on the detection phase, laying the foundation of anti-match-fixing and establishing theoretical frameworks and analytical landscape. The second session will take place online and focus on intelligence, while the last session is set to be hosted by the Italian Football Association (FICG) in Rome, emphasising on prosecution matters.

Stefano Caneppele, Associate Professor at UNIL and Angelo Rigopoulos, UEFA Managing Director of Integrity and Regulatory, said, “The first week of the FTF was extremely successful. The session aimed at bringing together the knowledge from academics, international sport federations and practitioners to stimulate active participation and exchange of views on the mechanisms and on the challenges in detecting match-fixing. We would like to thank all the speakers for the quality of their presentations and the participants for their enthusiasm and strong commitment. We are looking forward to meeting them for the next session in February 2023.”

Nicolas Sayde, Secretary of the Macolin Convention, Council of Europe, said, “Taking part in this program is a unique occasion to better understand the tools needed to investigate and prosecute match-fixing, which is essential for my organisation in a dialogue with public authorities. I see it as an excellent opportunity to strengthen national and international cooperation”

A joint effort at European level

UEFA last year approved a new action plan to fight and prevent match-fixing, multiplying initiatives and partnerships to increase expertise, collect intelligence and support Integrity Officers from its 55 member associations and other key stakeholders including national and international authorities, in their work to preserve the integrity of football.

Working hand in hand with the Council of Europe, the International Olympic Committee, INTERPOL and Europol, UEFA also co-organised a conference on sports competitions manipulation related to the digital sector, held last October in Strasbourg (France).

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