March 27 – UEFA has boosted its armoury in the war on matchfixing with an information-sharing agreement with sports betting integrity body ESSA.
ESSA has information sharing agreements with a large number of leading sports governing bodies, including FIFA and the IOC, as well as with a range of gambling regulators such as the British Gambling Commission and its counterparts in Alderney, Malta and Gibraltar.
The agreement with UEFA will see the confederation have access to ESSA’s Early Warning System (EWS) which monitors suspicious betting transactions via its 26 sports betting operator members – a bluechip list of bookmakers including Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, bwin, Bet365, SkyBet and William Hill.
ESSA’s information will add to UEFA’s betting fraud detection system (BFDS), which monitors and analyses betting activities on about 32,000 matches in Europe each year.
“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”, said UEFA’s Managing Director of Integrity, Emilio Garcia. “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.”
Speaking at the Tackling Matchfixing conference in London earlier this month Garcia emphasised UEFA’s commitment to fighting matchfixing crime via its network of integrity officers within national associations, and co-operation with local law enforcement agencies and EUROPOL. UEFA says it will give hand out life bans to anyone within the sport committing a match-fixing offence.
Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA, welcomed the agreement and co-operation: “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,” he said.
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