FIFPro’s newly minted match fixing initiative got off to a strong start in Costa Rica. Representatives from unions in fifteen countries attended the “Train the Trainer” event in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, for a three day symposium on tactics to deter and disincentivize engagement in match fixing.
FIFPro’s campaign, which is a combined initiative with FIFA, focuses on getting footballers and other stakeholders to “Recognise, Resist and Report”. It aims to create enhanced opportunities to recognize when instances of match fixing may be perpetrated or suggested while providing the necessary tools for stakeholders to resist any engagement with nefarious ideas and simultaneously report these activities to the relevant authorities.
To train the eager participants, Interpol provided representatives from its organization, showing the commitment to eradicate match fixing extends beyond football. This commitment was mirrored in the range of participants, which included members from unions across North, South and Central America. Delegates from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela attended the retreat. These participants are then tasked to implement workshops in their respective countries in order to contribute to the spread of this crucial information.
The symposium marks the beginning of FIFPro’s landmark effort to draw attention to match fixing on the game and work to create awareness towards counter measures against this scourge.
“It is very important to have learned about match fixing [and that] we are also at risk and now we have the tools to prevent and combat it in our league.” Fernando Revilla, the Secretary General of the Agremiacion de Futbolistas Profesionales del Peru (SAFAP), said in comments following the event.
Following the meetings, Revilla and other participants expanded on their added competencies to effectively convey to players in their countries how to identify, reject and denounce this crime. These meetings act as a key component of the overall program and allow messages to be transmitted in a direct and personal way which thus makes for clearer dissemination to wider audiences.
Organisations such as Interpol have noted the increase in match fixing activities worldwide, thus making this period a vital time to strike out against it. FIFPro and its partners will utilize their global reach to educate stakeholders worldwide and work toward the complete destruction of this black mark on football’s integrity.
Additional program components will be deployed in the near future. The experience of this first step on the long road against match fixing suggests success is possible and that important partners are open to dialogue on how to combat this crime. FIFPro believes that through this program awareness towards the overall depth of match fixing will increase and that this knowledge will breed action in the form of recognizing, resisting and reporting.
- Published: 25 June 2015