Combatting Match Manipulation Head-on, New Integrity Training Initiative to Reach Players and Officials at All CONCACAF Championships
MIAMI (March 7, 2014) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has introduced a blanket prevention initiative in the on-going fight against match manipulation, launching an education program for the benefit of players, coaches and officials participating in CONCACAF championships at all age levels.
The program, titled “Protect Yourself and Keep Your Sport Clean,” debuted at this year’s CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands. There, all members of the eight participating delegations – over 200 players and officials in total – were provided with valuable guidance and resources directed at identifying and preventing outside attempts to manipulate matches and compromise results.
“Match manipulation is a global scourge that we at CONCACAF take very seriously, and are fighting aggressively,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “Under the weight of initiatives such as this one, we are convinced that match fixers will now think twice before interfering in the game we all love – or else, they will face the consequences.”
The prevention-oriented program, to be incorporated into the team arrival meetings held for each nation and club team before every CONCACAF Championship beginning with last month’s women’s under-20 tournament, delineates key points of the battle against manipulation in sport, including how to identify and deal with potential match fixers.
At the Women’s Under-20 Championship in January, CONCACAF Director of Sports Integrity Dr. Laila Mintas addressed all eight teams, explaining the perils of falling into league with match fixers. While criminals intent on match manipulation have sometimes gotten away with their crimes in the past, implicated players worldwide have faced harsh penalties including fines, bans, and even imprisonment.
“Every player and every official that is part of the football family has the responsibility to help keep football clean from any negative impact,” said Webb. “The goal of this initiative is to enlist our players, coaches and officials as allies in the fight against illicit activities.”
The new, pre-tournament integrity process guides players, coaches and officials in grasping the threat of match fixing – defined as any act influencing the course or result of a match, contrary to sporting ethics. To that end, the program reinforces regulations which outlaw betting on football matches by players and officials, as well as forbidding the communication of sensitive inside information to anyone outside the club.
Players, coaches and officials in the region are also informed of their own responsibility to immediately report to CONCACAF’s Sports Integrity Department any activities related to match fixing or manipulation. The full program brochure can be found by visiting this link.
Additionally, and along with players and officials, anyone with information on match-fixing activity may report anonymously to Integrity@CONCACAF.org.