UEFA and ESSA have entered into an information sharing agreement, designed to strengthen the European football administrative body as it continues its campaign to rid the sport of match-fixing.
Aleksander Čeferin, President of UEFA, has recently stressed that the fight against match-fixing remains a major priority, developing and financing several initiatives to protect the integrity of the European game.
As part of the new agreement with the international betting integrity body, UEFA is to receive support from ESSA and its membership of 25 leading sports betting operators.
Efforts to identify attempted match manipulation will be carried out via the ESSA alert platform, which is dedicated to monitoring, reporting and tracking suspicious betting activity on a global scale.
As part of this is the operation of a betting fraud detection system (BFDS), monitoring and analysing activity on approximately 32,000 matches in Europe per year, across UEFA and domestic football competitions.
Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA, commented:“ESSA has played a key role in coordinating and focusing the licensed, regulated betting industry’s zero-tolerance approach to the threat of betting-related match-fixing in sport.
“This agreement is further proof of our ongoing commitment to helping all sports authorities maintain the highest levels of integrity.”
The European body has also created a network of integrity officers within national associations, who are liaising with local law enforcement agencies.
In addition, UEFA is working together with the European law enforcement agency EUROPOL, as well as other national crime and gambling authorities, and also directly with police forces and prosecutors,
With education programmes also running, aimed at informing and educating players, referees and coaches about the dangers of match-fixing.
Anyone committing a match-fixing offence can expect to be banned for life from the sport by UEFA’s disciplinary authorities.
Emilio Garcia, UEFA’s Managing Director of Integrity, added: “We are delighted that ESSA will be teaming up with UEFA in our mission to eradicate the manipulation of matches from football, and the exchange of information between trusted partners is a key milestone in this fight.
“Match-fixing is a disease that threatens football’s soul, and the game must be safeguarded from those who seek to profit from it by criminal means.”