February 15 – The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) which has long been battling criminal matchfixing gangs operating within its leagues, has unveiled a new education strategy that will see 32 workshops per season covering referees, BFU officials and all players in the country’s top two tiers.
The workshops will be delivered by Sportradar via individual e-learning modules and assessments each year. Attendance at the workshops and completion of the e-learning modules and assessments will be mandatory for all players.
“On behalf of the Bulgarian Football Union, I’m very delighted to sign this contract. As President of the BFU, I promise my full support to this initiative. I am in no doubt that I speak for all my collegues in our Federation in this regard,” said Borislav Mihaylov (pictured).
Mihaylov has himself received threats believed to be from criminal groups linked to match-fixing gangs on the past. In December 2014 Mihaylov received a series of text messages related to an investigation that saw a series of raids by Bulgarian police arrest nine men.
“This agreement means a lot to us. We are taking a step forward, supplementing the monitoring of the games already in place with a powerful educational strategy. I believe that organizing workshops all around the country will help us to present our position and so keep the integrity mission growing. This tour is one of our top priorities for the next few months,” said Deputy general secretary Pavel Kolev.
Such is the level of concern about matchfixing in Bulgarian football that the Secretary General of Minister of Sport Assen Markov was also present at the announcement of the initiative. “We warmly welcome Sportradar’s educational strategy and congratulate the BFU on their strong stance in the battle against match fixing. I can assure everyone here that the Ministry of Sport will channel its backing to support this initiative,” said Markov.
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