BRUSSELS: The international players’ union FIFPro has launched a system offering players approached to fix matches – or who suspect games are being manipulated – to push a ‘panic button’ on their mobile phones.

Footballers across Europe can download the anti-match-fixing app to their phones and will be given a password to report any approaches via a red button.

The system developed utilises European Union funding and will be available to all professional players.

Harri Syvasalmi, a member of Finland’s sports ministry and chair of the European Union’s Expert Group on match-fixing, said: “A player gets a password and he can push the red button anonymously and the message goes to a place that will investigate it.

“He does not have to identify himself if he or she does not want to do so.”

Syvasalmi said the app would allow players to report suspicions about matches they are watching on television.

He said: “That’s a possibility as well as you need those guys who watch games and understand what is going on.”

Syvasalmi praised UEFA’s efforts to combat the threat but said FIFA needed to do more.

He said: “UEFA is on the right path. It is monitoring 30,000 matches-plus but FIFA only 1,500. I think what UEFA puts in to that is really professional but absolutely FIFA needs to do more, and not only FIFA most sports federations need to do more.

“People think this is just a problem in football – and there are a lot of cases in football – but it’s is also problem in other sports such as tennis, cricket and rugby.”



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Thursday, June 27, 2013

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