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For the first time, UEFA implemented a comprehensive integrity programme for the 15th UEFA European Championship, UEFA EURO 2016.
The integrity programme, which incorporated education, monitoring and cooperation with key stakeholders, as well as UEFA’s legal framework, began in April when the full contingent of match officials selected to referee the 51 EURO matches received a match-fixing prevention presentation at their base hotel north of Paris. The fundamentals of the problem were explained to the referees and their assistants - how to react to an approach from a match-fixer; how the use of ‘inside information’ can be detrimental; and how betting on competition matches was not allowed.
Following this, each of the 24 participating teams received a similar presentation during the course of their preparatory friendly matches. A short video was produced in the 18 languages of the teams and was shown at these prevention sessions. The video and presentations emphasised the fact that match-fixing is a criminal offence in France, and that any suspicious activity would be dealt with by both UEFA and local law enforcements agencies.
In addition to the education given to all players and match officials, the 6,500 volunteers working at EURO 2016 completed an e-learning programme which included a module on match-fixing.
As with all of UEFA’s competition matches, the betting patterns at the final tournament matches were monitored by the UEFA Betting Fraud Detection System, with the aim of detecting any irregularities that could be an indication of a manipulation. No irregularities were detected in any of the 51 matches played.
Given that match-fixing is a criminal offence in France, and to ensure that UEFA was fully prepared to deal with an eventual incident, a working group was formed that included key stakeholders. The French police and justice department, ARJEL (the French online gambling authority), Europol, Sportradar (UEFA’s partner in monitoring) and the French state lottery joined forces with UEFA, and met regularly during the EURO in Paris, to guarantee that the correct procedures were followed.