UEFA's 54 member associations today unanimously adopted an 11-point resolution entitled 'European football united for the integrity of the game' at the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress, held at the Palace of Independence in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The resolution, presented by Aleksander Čeferin, the UEFA Legal Committee's second vice-chairman, is aimed at dealing with match-fixing and corruption and addresses five specific topics: education, regulation, reporting, law enforcement and strong sanctions. In adopting the resolution, the UEFA member associations agreed to:
• educate their domestic football family by having a coherent plan for education and protection/prevention
• harmonise their regulations (minimum standards/abolish statute of limitations)
• implement reporting systems/procedures
• cooperate with domestic law enforcement agencies
• implement strong sanctions for any persons involved in match-fixing
"We are requesting that UEFA's member associations align themselves with UEFA – and have our full support – in order to tackle this scourge, which is a real threat to the soul of our sport," said UEFA President Michel Platini.
From a regulatory perspective, UEFA has recently amended its disciplinary regulations to combat the risk of match-fixing, so that match-fixing, bribery and/or corruption are not subject to any statute of limitations. Additionally, these regulations provide UEFA with the possibility to implement strict sanctions as part of the zero-tolerance approach against this menace. This is also aligned to UEFA's policy of cooperation with police forces across Europe.
The UEFA President also took the opportunity to present Alina Stetenco, Moldova's women's under-17 coach, to the UEFA Congress. Miss Stetenco provided key information that helped lead to the recent lifetime suspension from football of a Moldovan official for his attempt to manipulate the outcome of a UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship match last August.
"Alina has said no," the UEFA President said to the Congress attendees. "She has said no to match-fixing, no to intimidation and no to corruption in football. She stood up for what she believed in and that is why she deserved a standing ovation today. She has set the example we need to follow."
As part of the education process, UEFA will provide integrity officers at each UEFA member association with additional "Recognise, Reject and Report" campaign material to be presented and distributed to their clubs and teams participating in UEFA competitions. Integrity officers act as the liaison between the football authorities and state law enforcement agencies with respect to suspected match-fixing. They exchange information and experience with the UEFA administration, monitor disciplinary proceedings and coordinate relevant action, as well as organising invaluable education programmes for players, referees and coaches.
The tools at UEFA's disposal will also be enhanced to facilitate reporting. In addition to the Betting Fraud Detection System (BFDS) and the establishment of the integrity officer network, UEFA has implemented a four-language phone service, and from 1 July 2014, will launch a seven-language Integrity website to support the reporting process via UEFA.org.
As part of the prevention and detection campaign, via the BFDS, UEFA tracks more than 30,000 matches in UEFA and domestic competitions per season and transmits irregular betting pattern information – which concerns approximately 0.7% of matches played – to the integrity officers in UEFA's member associations.
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