Betting on football matches was the focal point at a meeting in Nyon between UEFA and key representatives of the European betting industry – with a firm promise being made to fight corruption and betting anomalies that can distort results.
The meeting was chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini and involved representatives of Betfair, the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), the European Lotteries and Verband Europäischer Wettunternehmer (VeWu). The agenda centred on betting and football matches, and on how existing procedures can be further improved. "With the current early-warning system, UEFA is able to request information from the various betting bodies, which identifies individuals behind any activity that has raised suspicion that corruption may have taken place," the European football body said.
"UEFA acknowledges the importance of working with gambling associations in monitoring gambling activities on its football matches," UEFA added. "Back in 2005, UEFA signed Memorandums of Understanding with bookmakers and gambling associations, including the European Lotteries, Betfair and the European Sports Security Association".
Necessary disciplinary action
"As a responsible governing body, UEFA is continuously monitoring football betting patterns, and it is clear that we will take the necessary actions in any cases where that may be justified," said Mr Platini after the meeting. "The efficiency of a control system is expressed by the number of irregularities found."
"Our system works very well, and this is a clear message to individuals involved in these illegal practices that we are determined to root out any forms of corruption, or betting anomalies, that may distort the outcome of our matches," the UEFA President added.
Ideas and information
"Today's meeting was all about exchanging further ideas and information with the European betting industry in an open and positive way, so that we may find ways of improving our already stringent early-warning system and therefore protecting the game from any potential illegal betting activities. We have agreed to continue to work closely together in this field."
Figures and information
Jens Nielsen of the European Lotteries said: "We are happy to have worked with UEFA for the past three years, and who we think take this matter very seriously. We are more than happy to assist them, and in fact we have a responsibility to assist in the fight against illegal activities. We can offer figures and information into bets, and we are open in the future to an even closer co-operation with UEFA on this issue."
"Today's meeting with UEFA and the UEFA President, Michel Platini, was very productive," added David Pittel of the European Sports Security Association (ESSA). "We have agreed to examine ways in which we can co-operate more closely with UEFA and football in general, in order to detect any suspicious betting activities, or patterns, very early on, thereby enabling us to pass on information which can be dealt with efficiently. We will continue to strengthen our ties based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2005."
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