July 26 – A research report by the FIX the FIXING programme reveals the worrying statistics that 20% of the athletes were aware of a fixed game involving their team over the past 12 months, while 15% of athletes also reported that they were approached to help fix a match within the last 12 months.
More than 600 athletes were surveyed in Greece, France, Austria, Ireland, the UK and Cyprus. They competed in 13 different sports including: football, rugby union, Basketball, handball, volleyball, water polo, martial arts, badminton, tennis, athletics, swimming, gymnastics and weightlifting.
The findings show that nearly 34.7% of athletes believe that games at their level were fixed, while 12.6% of the athletes said that they were aware they had been involved in a manipulated game.
FIX the FIXING is an EU-funded Erasmus+ project coordinated by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. There is also participation from the Queens University from Northern Ireland, the Limerick University from Ireland, the Austria’s Play Fair Code, the IRIS of France, the Cyprus Sports Organization, the Sport Integrity Hellas, the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).
“The findings show the extent of the phenomenon of manipulated games and highlight the need for immediate treatment through scientifically documented educational interventions,” said project coordinator Vassilis Barkoukis.
The report, which will be published in full later this year, highlights the lack of trust shown by athletes towards governing bodies which prevents them from reporting incidents of manipulation.
The FIX the FIXING project team is developing online educational material to prevent and combat match fixing. The material will be able to be adapted and used by stakeholders including educators, trainers, and policy makers both within and outside the EU.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org