“Protocoles on players reporting match-fixing concerns” and “Report on PROtect Integrity Plus: roll out of the Red Button App to new sports and new countries” published at the end of last year were final outputs of the PROtect Integrity Plus Erasmus+ project.
The Protocole follows on the document first drafted in 2014, which aims to give guidance and share best practices related to dealing with the issue of reporting of match-fixing concerns. The document has been updated over the course of 2 years of the project, following discussions and consultations with the staff and partner player associations, as well as external stakeholders during the Dissemination Conference in Athens.
The academic report, prepared by David Forrest and Babatunde Buraimo from the University of Liverpool, followed a research including the literature review, consultations, interviews with National Platforms and other stakeholders as well as player focus group and player questionnaires. The report provides an important evaluation, suggestions and conclusions that will allow the player associations to further improve their work when it comes to the fight against match-fixing.
PROtect Integrity Plus Erasmus+ project, co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme and private betting operators EGBA, RGA and IBIA, allowed the Red Button App (initially developed by JPY and FIFPro) to be implemented in 5 new sports (handball, volleyball, futsal, rugby, basketball) and 7 different countries (UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Greece).
For Paulina Tomczyk, the Project Manager and the General Secretary of EU Athletes: “We are are very proud of this innovative project that allowed us to further advance the fight against match-fixing. It demonstrates a crucial role that the player unions have in the process and we were very happy with the tremendous work done by our national player unions as well as the cooperation with FIFPro. A focus on cooperation with all relevant stakeholders has also been a major part of this initiative and we are looking forward work further on this area”.
On the 13th of December at FIFPro House in Amsterdam, EU Athletes organized the wrap up meeting for the Protect Integrity Plus 2018, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, which aimed to adapt and implement the Red Button App in seven different countries and five sports. The app, previously developed by FIFPro and the Finnish Football Players Association (JPY), is a match-fixing reporting tool exclusively for athletes.
Over the two years, the project has involved 8 players associations across Europe: Hellenic Professional Volleyball Players Association (HPVPA), French Player Rugby Union (Provale), Danish Handball Players Association (HSF), Italian basketball Players Association (GIBA), Rugby Players Ireland (IRUPA), The Rugby Players Association (RPA), Spanish Futsal Male Players Association (AJFS) and the Spanish Futsal Female Players Association (AJFSF). The partners presented the Red Button App to the players during the team visits and encouraged them to report anything suspicious. The other actions implemented by the players unions concerned the social media campaign and grassroots videos to raise awareness among the youngest people about the importance of the integrity of sport. Furthermore, an academic research has been carried out by Professor Forrest, from University of Liverpool, through questionnaires and interviews with players and the entities designated as the recipients of the reports.
The final staff meeting, including EU Athletes, FIFPro, Finnish football players Associations (JPY) and the University of Liverpool, was focused on the overall project assessment, the evaluation of the partners’ performances and the recommendations for the final report. Furthermore, due to the encouraging results achieved, we decided, in accordance with our leading partners, to continue the project for a future development in other sports and countries, drawing the focus to different aspects that are crucial to make the project successful.
PROtect Integrity Plus staff meeting took place on June 26th in Finland. The aim of the staff meeting was to catch-up on the implementation of the project so far, especially the roll-out of the Red Button App across project partners and to prepare for the upcoming Dissemination Conference which will take place in Athens, Greece, in October.
Complete actions include a successful social media campaign with #PROtectIntegrity and its peak on the 15th of April #EUSportIntegrityDay that is an opportunity for everyone to show their commitment to fighting match-fixing. The 2018 Code of Conduct for athletes was published on the updated PROtect Integrity website which provides further details about the project. Participants also discussed upcoming and ongoing tasks, particularly research led by prof. David Forrest from the University of Liverpool.
After one year since our Erasmus+ PROtect Integrity Plus project kicked off, project partners and staff met in Copenhagen on 22nd of January, the to asses the implementation of the project so far and discuss the upcoming actions.
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The aim of the project is to introduce the Red Button App, allowing athletes to report anything suspicious in relation to match-fixing, to 3000 professional and elite level athletes from 7 EU countries (UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Spain) and 5 different sports (rugby, basketball, handball, volleyball, futsal). All the partner player associations have the reporting system set up, in partnership with National Platforms or other entities who are report receivers, and are rolling out the App to their players.
Next important steps of the project will include particularly the research led by prof. David Forrest from the University and the Dissemination Conference which will take place in October in Athens.
EU Athletes is the European federation of player associations and sport trade unions (www.euathletes.org), representing more than 35 players associations in 18 different European countries. We are also affiliated to UNI Global Union and its sport sector World Players Association, the international federation of player unions (www.uniglobalunion.org).
EU Athletes is looking for an intern to support the team in management and implementation of the Erasmus+ PROtect Integrity Plus project (fight against match-fixing). The internship will also include daily communication and administrative tasks, as well as development and policy work in different areas, according to the profile and preferences of the successful candidate.
The position will provide an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in the professional sport sector, working for independent organisation representing European athletes from different sports.
Duration of the internship: 5-6 months, starting in February 2019
Monthly compensation, with possibility to apply for Erasmus+ Mobility for Traineeships
Location of the internship: Brussels, with possible travel within the EU
Profile of the intern:
Student currently enrolled in master’s degree programme;
Knowledge of Erasmus+ programme and methodology of projects management;
Excellent writing, summarizing and reporting;
Strong organization skills;
Sociable, with strong communication and people skills;
Autonomy, mobility and flexibility;
Fluent in English, knowledge of other European languages is a plus.
An interest in the professional sports environment is an advantage, as well as a sensitivity in (sports) trade unionism and the rights of athletes. Finally, a reflection/knowledge on the impact of the European law and policies on the professional sports sector would be highly appreciated.
Interested candidates are asked to send their application (CV and a short cover letter) before the 25th of November 2018. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews, which will take place at the beginning of December (in Brussels or via Skype).
The newest version of the Code of Conduct for Athletes was developed and published as a part of Erasmus+ funded PROtect Integrity Plus project, in cooperation with project partners as well as the private betting operators represented by ESSA, EGBA and RGA.
The Code of Conduct focuses on 5 key messages, in order to make sure that all the athletes are properly educated about the sport betting integrity and understand the risks of match-fixing. These athlete-friendly materials help player association with implementation of the project at the national level while they introduce players to the Red Button reporting app.
Code of Conduct and other materials in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Greek and Italian can be found here.