IntegriSport 3.0 Workshop Underlines Need for Cross-stakeholder Collaboration in Fight Against Match-fixing

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Representatives from FIFPRO and the Association of Bulgarian Footballers (ABF) were present at the latest IntegriSport 3.0 workshop in Bulgaria, Sofia, where participants benefited from practical sessions on combatting match-fixing and safeguarding sporting integrity.

Co-hosted by CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria, the event on March 7-8 brought together Bulgarian government officials, law enforcement agencies, sport federations and player unions.

The message was clear: collaboration between stakeholders is vital in the fight against sport manipulation, and athletes require the unwavering support of law enforcement and judicial bodies to be protected in clean sports.

ABF’s Nikolay Hristozov and FIFPRO Senior Legal Counsel Loïc Alves, along with several domestic and European stakeholders, took part in the fruitful two-day seminar, which addressed education and prevention, technological challenges, and the need for support from national law authorities.

Alves was one of the event’s keynote speakers and his presentation highlighted how FIFPRO’s Red Button app is helping players report match-fixing approaches to national authorities securely and anonymously.

“Football is one of the most-targeted sports by international organised crime, who will often exploit footballers who are in financial difficulties, such as those not regularly receiving their salary from clubs,” said Alves.

“Ultimately, footballers want a clean sport and the right to a safe workplace. The Red Button app empowers players to safely report match-fixing approaches to competent authorities. That is why a unified approach amongst stakeholders and the support of law enforcement and judiciaries is crucial when it comes to tackling this international issue.”

The Red Button app is distributed by FIFPRO and member unions. It is recognised by FIFA’s dedicated integrity department and UEFA as a valid reporting tool.

IntegriSport 3.0 is a project established by the CSCF Foundation for Sports Integrity to provide theoretical and practical support for law enforcement and judiciaries in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Romania and Spain, co-financed by the European Union, on fighting sport manipulation.

The event in Bulgaria marked the fifth under the present project, following on from the latest awareness raising practical sessions in Estonia, Austria, Spain and Greece.

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