10

INTEGRISPORT NEXT – Kick-off of the project

Official launch of EU-financed project IntegriSport Next 2021-2022

Raising awareness about the damages of sports manipulations (#matchfixing)” 

The launch of the EU-funded project, IntegriSport Next ERASMUS +, was officially held today at a kickoff meeting, this time online due to current circumstances.  

This project, developed and coordinated by the CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity, is considered the continuation of the successful IntegriSport Erasmus+ project (2019-2020), consolidating itself as an important platform for raising awareness for law enforcement and judiciaries about the damages of sports manipulations in Europe (#matchfixing). 

The project represents a joint commitment to strengthen prevention and cooperation on this phenomenon in six countries: Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Malta and Sweden,bringing together the efforts of: 

  • Country Partners Organisations: The Cyprus Police; Estonian Police; Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports; The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia; Malta Police Force; Swedish Sports Confederation  
  • Partner organisations: The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)  
  • Supporting organizations: FIFPRO   

The abovementioned is planned to be achieved through the consolidation of a comprehensive awareness-raising program and operational support to law enforcement agencies (LEA) and judicial authorities (JA) in Europe to face this phenomenon under the same collective.  

In this way, Integrisport Next (2021-2022) truly generates an ideal space for law enforcement agencies (LEA) and judicial authorities (JA) to debate in transnational meetings and training programs led by recognized experts the use of appropriate investigative techniques, legal instruments, sport policy, sport betting, and virtual currencies in sport at national and international level to be effective in the criminal procedure regarding match-fixing and other sport integrity matters 

For more information, please contact the CSCF Projects Team

integrisportnext.admin@cscfsport.com

Train the Trainer_WSF_2

Safeshred and CSCF – Safer, Cleaner, Better

cooperation WSF and CSCF-02

The World Snowboard Federation and the CSCF – Sport Integrity Group take a step forward for the safeguarding of young snowboard riders.

On December 6th 2021, trainers and managers come from all over Europe to Planegg Germany, to participate in an intensive training on integrity topics. These key players will be empowered with knowledge and pedagogical tools to raise awareness among the youngest generations of snowboard riders during local, regional, and national events this winter.

The topics covered during the session were:

•      Manipulation of sports competition
•      Doping
•      Harassment/Bullying
•      Corruption
•      Whistleblowing system
•      Basic human rights

This activity builds on from the findings of the SafeShred project, co-financed by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

The relay baton is passed: see you on the slopes!

A special thanks to Snowboard Germany for hosting the activity in such special conditions.

And to the CSCF team of experts:

–  Carlos Gutiérrez & Norbert Rubicsek J.D. – Coordinators
–  Cassandra Matilde Fernandes, LL.M – Basic human rights
–  Pim Verschuuren – Whistle blowing system
–  Ainhoa Azurmendi – Harassment & Bullying
– Gatis Berkis – Doping
– Lorraine Pearman – Manipulation of sports competition & Corruption

As well as to the WSF coordinators, Boris Kilvinger and Floriane Poncet.

– Freestyle Snowboard Italy (FSI)
– Snowboard Germany (SG) 
– Finnish Snowboard Association (FSA)
– Swiss-Ski (SSKI)
– Austrian Snowboard Association (ASA)
– Swedish Ski Association (SSA)

21

Integriball Erasmus Plus – keep sport clean for youth and female footballers

“Integrity, the choice between what is convenient and what is right” Tony Dungy

Integrity is a vital part of sport. It helps to guide us to keep sport clean and ensures the natural joy of athletes in performing on the sports field and that of the fans around the pitch. However, we need to work hard to ensure the integrity of sport. Anyone connected to a sports competition needs to learn, understand and apply the rules, including the rules of integrity. Once we understand why rules must be respected, we understand why it is important to work hard to protect its integrity – to protect careers, to protect the unpredictability of nature and to protect the business of sport.

It is important to understand: the rules of integrity are for, not against us!

While football is one of the sports which is frequently threatened by opportunists, and senior male football players are provided more and more education on the dangers of sport manipulation (match- fixing), younger athletes and female players are still generally behind in receiving this knowledge and understanding the threats, the approaches and the impacts. This was proven by interviews of multiple national team and club players across a section of Europe, who often themselves believed that they could not be targets, given the lower media attention they receive. However, as the pandemic showed, lower level and less visible leagues are attractive exactly because of the lower media attention, lower salaries, and lower level of awareness.

These concerns convinced the CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity, together with the support of 4 federations: the Czech Republic Football Association (FACR), the Malta Football Association (MFA), the Hellenic Football Federation and the Royal Belgium Football Association (RBFA); one players’ union, the Pancyprian Footballers Association (PASP), two institutional partners, GMLS and Ghent University, and two supporting partners, UEFA and the Council of Europe, to develop and implement Integriball Erasmus+, a 2-year project, which provided support to two of the most vulnerable members of the football family: grassroots and female footballers.

The objective of this 2-year project was to “provide customised and dedicated education programmes, focusing on the protection of grassroot footballers (adolescents – U16-18) and female footballers in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece and Malta, from threats of sport manipulation through understanding, awareness and knowledge of approaches, consequences and procedures available to them. This awareness and the guidelines were also adapted to coaches and administrative staff of the participating country federations.We have come a long way since the beginning of 2020, which was not eased by the onset and continued presence of COVID-19. Nonetheless, I am proud to share that we were able to:

– Build knowledge in the participating countries, together with representatives of the participating countries, as proven by surveys prior to, during and after the sessions.

– Develop a knowledge-based useful product which was eventually tailor-made to the sport manipulation situation, level of awareness, actual situation and educational needs of each football federation/football players’ union of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece and Malta; to provide these education tools in the countries to footballers and also prepare future trainers (train-the-trainers), who would be able to further deliver the knowledge for the youth and female footballers in their countries and sustain and transfer know-how.

– Give the opportunity to the motivated persons of our respective countries to make the future generations more cautious about what happens around them and help them to play a clean game and contribute positively to society.

I truly believe that the outputs, that were developed meticulously and delivered widely, will help to prepare not only the participating federation and union football players to be very successful, cautious and knowledgeable sportsmen and sportswomen, but they can also be transferred beyond these countries, thus benefiting the wider society of Europe and beyond.

As the director of CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity, and the co-ordinator of Integriball Erasmus+, I would like to warmly thank the hard work of the partners of Integriball, as well as the supporting partners, UEFA and the Council of Europe. I would like to especially thank the contribution of the integrity officers of the involved federations, the president of the Cypriot Players’ Union and his team, the experts of CSCF, our ambassadors, all the interviewees of our research and last, but not least, the boys and girls and senior female football players who participated and will continue to participate in the training sessions of Integriball Erasmus+.

You are truly making a difference.

We stand against manipulations in sports.

Yours in sporting integrity,

Norbert Rubicsek

Matchfix_group2

Awareness Raising Session – Sweden

A stimulating exchange of thoughts and ideas on how to fight and prevent Match-Fixing in Sweden

IntegriSport Next has continued with its Awareness Raising Sessions (ARSs). This time, CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity co-organised the event with its project partner in Sweden, the Swedish Sports Confederation, which is responsible for combating all forms of sports manipulations in Sweden. 

Being the last session of 2021 after successfully completing the ARSs of Estonia and Finland, the event took place in Stockholm on the 24th and 25th of November, where more than 70 people from the law enforcement, judiciary, sport, and betting sectors attended the workshop. The event sparked active debates and discussions about fighting and preventing sports manipulations.

Fulfilling the objective of the project, the session represented a unique opportunity to bring together Swedish law enforcement and judiciary authorities and all the Swedish and international actors who fight against this phenomenon in sport to share ideas, opinions, good practices, and ways to cooperate between them.

Session development

The two-day session was dedicated to giving to the participants a perspective of the situation of sport manipulation at the national and international level, with the participation of first-class speakers who presented their contributions on the following key topics:

  • Sport integrity Sport betting
  • Virtual currencies
  • Related criminal offenses (corruption, fraud, money laundering)
  • National and international co-operation and policymaking

Among the participant organisations, there were not only representatives from project partners but also other international and local institutions that play a crucial role in the field of sports manipulation, such as CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), the Swedish Sports Confederation, FIFPRO, the Swedish Gambling Authority, Svenska Spel, the Swedish Players Union, the Swedish FA, the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS), the Swedish Police Authority, the Prosecution Authority, and the Council of Europe and INTERPOL, as intergovernmental key stakeholders with an active and important work in the domain. Also, the first day had a very enlightening interview with Kenny Stamatopoulos, a former football player who had first-hand experience with match-fixing, who said no and reported it. 

“The Swedish awareness-raising session was an engaging and fruitful workshop, where we, as GLMS, together with our local member, Svenska Spel, were able to share the basics of sports betting, what to look out for when collecting intelligence and preparing evidence, key issues in Sweden related to sports betting integrity and the importance of education and collaborative actions” said Cassandra Fernandes – Legal and Projects Manager of GLMS Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS)

“Addressing the manipulation issues of sport requires a multi-stakeholder effort. At the Swedish Sports Confederation, we want to have an impact on all those actors who can contribute in one way or another to combat this problem. Being involved in this project, we have the opportunity to meet with representatives of law enforcement, the judiciary, the sports movement, and the field of betting, all together raising awareness and understanding different points of view” said Jakob Uddeholt from Integrity Officer – Swedish Sports Confederation

The program of the second day was only for representatives of law enforcement, judicial authorities, and other stakeholders from the public sector with the aim of sharing good practices on how cases of manipulation of national and international sports competitions can be detected and investigated. 

Following the latest trends in criminal activity, participants were able to follow two prominent presentations from the Swedish Cybercrime Center (SC3) and CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity on how cybercrime and virtual currencies are making their way into society and more specifically, in sports, creating new challenges for those who fight against this phenomenon. 

Moreover, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Sweden shared a presentation based on a report on money laundering in the gaming sector in Sweden. This was a remarkable contribution that gave participants insight into the situation based on statistics and real examples of approaches to the issue of money laundering through the gaming sector. 

The day was followed by INTERPOL’s intervention as well as the presentation of two specific case studies on the issue, the local AIK – IFK Gothenburg case and a Finnish case. The three interventions shared notable examples of good and bad practices from international investigations on the manipulations of sports, as well as the role of cooperation between organisations to successfully investigate this type of crime. With this part of the session, the participants received an inside look into how the investigation and prosecution of a real sport manipulation case happens, thus receiving important lessons to consider for the future.

The final part of the Awareness Raising Session was an activity that has been one of the pillars of this project, the international peer-to-peer meeting. This time it focused on how to collect and use information during investigations of cases of sports manipulations (match fixing). This was a one-off opportunity for law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities from Sweden to meet peers from other countries to develop the capacity and cooperation in their investigation and prosecution techniques in sports manipulation cases. 

The panel in the meeting consisted of key players of the domain of sport integrity, including CSCF Director Norbert Rubicsek, Claudio Marinelli from Interpol, Cassandra Fernandes, Chris Yaakoubian and Benoit Borsato from GLMS, Jouko Ikonen from FINCIS as well as representatives from the Swedish Police, Swedish Prosecution, Svenska Spel and the Swedish FA. What followed was a stimulating exchange of thoughts and ideas on how to develop capacity and cooperation in their investigations and prosecution techniques in sports manipulation cases. 

“Sharing information between stakeholders is one of the key tools in fighting sport manipulation, so discussions such as these provide great value to the cause not only of the IntegriSport Next project, but also to the partners such as CSCF [Foundation for Sport Integrity] and our partners’ stakeholders”, said Norbert Rubicsek, Director of CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity. 

And with this, the Awareness Raising Sessions have concluded for 2021, with our next three sessions being held next year in Georgia (February), Cyprus (March), and Malta (April).

0N4A1758

Awareness Raising Session – Estonia

We have finished our first session of the IntegriSport Next Erasmus Plus Awareness Raising session in Estonia!

The IntegriSport Next project has officially started the implementation phase of the project with the Awareness Raising Session for law enforcement officers, judicial authorities of Estonia and other important stakeholders on all aspects of manipulation of sports competitions.

This time, the session was host by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board and co-organised by CSCF-Foundation for Sport Integrity in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. 

During the 2-day event, participants discussed the topics of sport manipulation (match-fixing) related to crime investigations and prosecution activities in Estonia and engaged in a lively exchange on good practices on fighting the phenomenon.  The session not only focused on a knowledge transfer, but also actively facilitated national and international cooperation-building to maximise immersion and impact.

Internationally recognised experts in the field of combating sports manipulations from various organisations also contributed to the success of the event through concrete presentations, as well as different speakers from other organisations. All of them participated with face-to-face or online presentations.

On the first day, speakers included representatives from project partner organisations such as the Estonian Police and Border Guard, the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and CSCF experts, as well as special participation from FIFPRO as the project’s supporting partner.

Moreover, representatives from guest organisations also actively took part in the event by giving insights into the situation in the country, including the Estonian Football Association, the Estonian Center for Integrity in Sport (ETCIS), the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Interior of Estonia.

The first day closed with the presentation of the Council of Europe on the Macolin Convention and international cooperation in the fight against sport manipulation.

On the second day, representatives of Law Enforcement, Judicial Authorities, ministries, and the Estonian Center for Integrity in Sport (ETCIS) shared good practices in the investigation and detection of cases of manipulation of national and international sports competitions.

Among the participants on the second day were our project partners the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board and the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sport (FINCIS) and representatives of key organisations and speakers with a history of experience in the domain of manipulation for sport competitions, which includes INTERPOL, the Prosecution Service of Hungary, and the Judicial Police of Portugal.

At the end of the session, the peer-to-peer meeting was held for members of Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities in order to develop the capacity and cooperation in their investigation and prosecution techniques in sports manipulation cases.

“Great to be part of IntegriSport Next, since in Estonia sports manipulations are sometimes quite unknown and underground and we are interested in every type of solution, so, thank you for this project and all the support to fight against manipulation in sport.” Remo Perli – Estonian Police Border Guard Board

“I was really happy to see the Estonian stakeholders starting to have a discussion or to continue the discussion on how to fight against sports manipulations.”

Norbert Rubicsek – CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity

It was a great session full of inspiring points of view and good energy from all the participants who were very open to learn how to act and what steps to take to fight against sports manipulations in Estonia.

The next awareness raising session will be held in Finland in November 2021.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Awareness Raising Session – Finland

A session built on trust and cooperation

On November 2, 3, and 4, the Awareness Raising Session in Finland, hosted by the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS) and coordinated by CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, had exceptional participation and active collaboration from more than 40 participants that met to debate and understand the phenomenon of sport manipulation in the framework of IntegriSport Erasmus+ within the EU co-funded project.

The feeling during the session was built on trust and cooperation from the different participants to raise awareness and level up the support and identify the biggest threats against integrity in sport and to work towards the same goal: keeping the sport safe and clean.

During the 3-day session, the members of the different organisations had an open discussion on the manipulation of sports competitions (match-fixing) related to criminal investigations and prosecution activities and how this phenomenon has been affecting Finland. Also, recognised experts and members participated in the session with different presentations sharing experience, knowledge, and views regarding the current situation, plans, strategies, and practices related to these issues in the country and Europe.

Session development

On the first day, participants from sport organisations such as IntegriSport Next E+ experts from CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity and the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports – FINCIS held presentations about the general description of the manipulation of sports competitions, national case studies, and national policy in Finland.

The second day was open to all interested parties, and it was an opportunity to share the project’s findings during the preparation phase and national and international perspectives about the manipulation of sports competitions from the CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity director and its group of experts, the Police Board of Finland, the Global Lottery Monitoring System – GLMS as project partner, as well as FIFPRO, as a supporting project partner. In addition, key local speakers included representatives from Veikkaus, Urheiluvedonlyöjät, Football Players Association of Finland, and the Prosecution District of Southern Finland.

“Finland has been forward thinking regarding fighting and preventing sport manipulation whether it is about investigation, education or cooperation since the famous investigation, JIT VETO. The Finnish experts were involved in the drafting procedure of the Macolin Convention, established FINCIS as the first response organisation on sport integrity and Finland also has a very active national platform. On behalf of IntegriSport Next, I am glad to support the Finnish stakeholders’ effort in combating match-fixing and provide knowledge on the phenomenon for a second time after the very successful Integrisport Erasmus+ project.” Norbert Rubicsek J.D. Director – CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity

On the third and last day, a day dedicated only for representatives of Law Enforcement, Judicial Authorities, and other stakeholders from the public sector, we had the participation of the National Bureau of Investigation explaining the challenges and learnings from the JIT VETO case and the Spanish Football Federation sharing experiences from a specific case study. Both cases gave a well-rounded perspective of the different procedures and approaches in the fight against this phenomenon.

Following those presentations, at the end of the day, a peer-to-peer meeting was held. It was an ideal space which served as a scenario to share good practices and openly debated with the participants in a round table their point of view regarding investigation and detection of cases of manipulation of national and international sports competitions. For this meeting, we had representatives with extensive experience in the field including: 

·      @NBI: Arttu Granat, Detective Sergeant

·      Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports: Jouko Ikonen, Chief Investigative Officer

·      Spanish Football Federation: Alfredo Lorenzo, Integrity and Security Director

·      INTERPOL: Claudio Marinelli – Criminal Intelligence Officer

·      CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity: Norbert Rubicsek – Director 

“According to the situation picture about combatting the manipulation of sports competitions we published earlier this year, the things requiring the most improvement in Finland are recognising and monitoring the manipulation of sports competitions. Through this training, we will enhance the cooperation between sports and authorities and improve the participants’ ability to recognise the risks of manipulating sports competitions,” says Jouko Ikonen, FINCIS Chief Investigative Officer.

Finally, as an example of one of the objectives of IntegriSport Next Erasmus+ to serve as an instrument to promote cooperation between partners and their different stakeholders, we had the pleasure of receiving Mr. Henn Vallimäe and Mr. Kalle Roos, CEO and Coordinator (matchfixing), respectfully, of the Estonian Center for Integrity in Sports (ESTCIS). ESTCIS participated during the Estonian ARS organised by our partner, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, and have now taken part in the Finnish session to learn and exchange knowledge on this topic.

It should be noted that ESTCIS grants a legal establishment to the National Contact Point (NCP) when it comes to sports manipulation cases. They have been a part of the Copenhagen Group since 2020 and it is said that soon the ESTCIS will be the coordinator of the National Platform.

We appreciate the interactive session and inclusion from all the participants who were part of this activity in Finland.

The next Awareness Raising Session will be held in Sweden on November 24 and 25, 2021.

Egor Kliuka of Russia spikes

CSCF and FIVB – Play Clean

The “Play Clean” programme was launched by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) at the end of September. 

CSCF Consulting developed the anti-doping educational content for the “Play Clean” programme, a tool that assists in protecting clean sport and athletes, based on the agreement signed with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB)

CSCFconsulting+FIVB-01

This programme is an interactive education tool that CSCF successfully completed for

FIVB in order to inform and educate participants on their rights and responsibilities in regard to anti-doping. The interactive learning experience incorporates lessons and quizzes on a range of topics and has been updated to fully align with changes made to the World Anti-Doping Code in 2021. 

“CSCF Consulting is delighted to support the FIVB’s commendable efforts in sport integrity by developing such an interactive tool. We strongly believe that education is the best way to keep a clean field and protect our players and athletes in any matter that goes against their integrity. This is why we have endeavored to provide this support for many federations and related stakeholders in the last 5 years,” said Norbert Rubicsek, Director of CSCF Consulting. 

“Play Clean” is a mandatory requirement for athletes and accredited medical personnel to participate in FIVB and world competitions. The programme will be updated every Olympic cycle, in addition to when major changes are made to the Code. 

Check the FIVB press release ——-> https://www.fivb.com/en/about/news/fivb-launches-new-play-clean-programme-?id=96282 

 

13

Cooperation CSCF and FIAS International Sambo Federation

FIAS and CSCF Consulting are working together to raise awareness on fighting sports manipulations amongst sambists, SAMBO sports personnel and sports managers.​

The International SAMBO Federation and CSCF Consulting have signed a 3-year contract to develop an educational program on fighting sports manipulations (match-fixing) in order to strengthen the integrity of SAMBO. The educational program will be available to the 116 National SAMBO Federations in America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania where SAMBO has a presence.

During the next 3 years, we will be developing different action plans, events, training, and programs in order to provide a comprehensive education on sports manipulations for athletes and sports personnel of SAMBO.

Internationally recognized experts in the field of combating sports manipulations from various organizations will contribute to the success of the different activities.

“It is important to prepare the athletes to be able to stand up against manipulation in sport and to keep the sport clean, fair, and unpredictable.” – said by Michal Buchel, CEO of FIAS.

“I believe that education is the best way to have a better understanding of integrity issues especially manipulations in sports competitions (match-fixing)” – said Norbert Rubicsek, Managing Partner of CSCF Consulting.

The cooperation between both parties will bring exceptional work for combating these issues, provide a better understanding, and tackle the dangers of sports manipulations in sport in order to create a safe environment for the athletes.

The first activities will be held soon, stay connected.

10

Launch ARS INTEGRISPORT NEXT

The IntegriSport Next Erasmus + Project starts its implementation phase by launching the Awareness Raising Sessions this month.

IntegriSport Next Erasmus+, the project coordinated by CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, will be holding the Awareness Raising Sessions within the upcoming seven months (from September 2021 to April 2022) in the six partner countries in order to provide knowledge and raise the awareness of law enforcement officers and judiciaries on all aspects of the manipulation of sports competitions. This will increase the efficiency of sport manipulation-related crime investigations and prosecution activities.

After successfully completing the preparation phase of the project with the development of comprehensive research, the Awareness Raising Sessions are to be launched this month beginning with Estonia and continuing in the following order:

Dates of the Awareness Raising Sessions

  • Estonia: Sep 28-29, 2021
  • Finland:  Nov 2-4, 2021
  • Sweden:  Nov 24-25, 2021
  • Georgia: February 2022      
  • Cyprus: March 2022
  • Malta: April 2022

These Awareness Raising Sessions will be provided to local stakeholders by CSCF, GLMS, and FIFPro experts, as well as by the Council of Europe, Interpol, and local stakeholders, on the manipulation of sports competitions (match-fixing) and criminal activities from four key points of view: sport, law enforcement, betting, and cyberspace. The partner organisation and host will invite law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges to participate in the training as well as other stakeholders of the domain for combating sport manipulation.

In addition, there will be a Peer-to-Peer Meeting of law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities from the host countries and other countries to develop the capacity and cooperation in their investigations and prosecution techniques in sport manipulation cases.

This project is an important platform for raising the awareness of law enforcement and judiciaries of the damages of sports manipulations (#matchfixing), bringing together the efforts of different organisations around Europe:

Coordinator:

  • CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity

Country Partners:

  • The Cyprus Police
  • The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board 
  • The Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia
  • The Malta Police Force 
  • The Swedish Sports Confederation
  • The Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS) 

Partner organisations 

  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)
  • The Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS)

Supporting Partner:

  • Internationale des Footballeurs Professionnelles, Division Europe (FIFPro)

“These awareness raising sessions are an essential part of the of the project itself because they provide awareness to the law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges who can deal with sport manipulation-related criminal issues in the Partner Countries. Therefore, in active collaboration with our partners of the host countries, IntegriSport Next Erasmus+ invites representatives of organisations involved in the fight against sports manipulations to intervene and participate in the events. We expect around 50 participants per workshop, per country.”Norbert Rubicsek, CSCF Director.

For more information, please contact the CSCF Project Team:  

integrisportnext.admin@cscfsport.com 

 

MicrosoftTeams-image (1)

Closing Integriball Project

The Integriball Erasmus Plus project is dedicated to protecting grassroot footballers and female footballers from threats of sport manipulation

The Integriball Erasmus Plus project came to its end on the 30th of November with its final administrative session and the closing conference. The project had a two-year run from the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2021, during which sport integrity experts developed extensive curricula and disseminated them through a multitude of training sessions. With the help of the Integriball project, thousands of women and young footballers can now play in a safer environment.

The Administrative Session and Closing Conference

On the 30th of November, the administrative session and closing conference of the Integriball Erasmus Plus project, hosted by GLMS – and coordinated by CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, were held. The online session had active participation and collaboration from more than 50 participants between partners and guests, besides the partners of the project who were as follows:

  • The Royal Belgian Football Association
  • The Cyprus Football Association / Pancyprian Footballers Association
  • The Football Association of the Czech Republic
  • The Hellenic Football Federation
  • The Malta Football Association
  • The Ghent University, and
  • The Global Lottery Monitoring System

UEFA, FIFA, International Olympic Committee, FIFPro, World lottery Association, Interpol, World SAMBO Federation, Berkeley Global Society and the European Union also came together to share the insights, conclusions, recommendations, and future actions of the project.

The project development

The EU-funded Integriball Erasmus + project was completed after 2 years (2020-2021) of dedication, education and awareness raising on tackling match-fixing in European football for young boys and girls and senior women footballers. It identified and addressing the issue from the different country partners of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Malta, Greece, and Cyprus. 

The project has a thorough research basis, the results and the curricula were based on desk research, survey research and a comprehensive interview phase conducted throughout 2020.

As the first step of this phase, Ghent University carried out desk research on the state of play of sport manipulation in all five countries, and Ariosz surveyed the future participants of Integriball about their opinions and knowledge on the topic. During the interview phase, the experts of CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity, together with the experts of the local partners (in their respective countries) and GLMS, conducted more than 60 interviews from all the 5 countries. The interviewees represented different stakeholders in the field of football (football players, coaches, integrity officers), through law enforcement to the highest level of policy making.

All this work resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the present state of match-fixing and sport manipulation in women’s and grassroots football in each country.

The knowledge collected from the countries of Integriball gave a great fundament for the curricula which was developed by and for all the partners of the projects. For the latter guide, CSCF implemented a train-the-trainers method, where representatives assigned by their federations were taught by experts to be able to train the athletes in their organizations. These documents were built to introduce the phenomenon of sport manipulation (Match-fixing) on how to recognize manipulation and what to do, and who to turn to if sport manipulation is committed.

The information was translated into the languages of the partner countries and tested at the pilot sessions where the knowledge was delivered to players of all the 5 country partners with the involvement of the 5 football associations: RBFA, PASP, CRFA, HFF, MFA as well as GLMS and CSCF. This was followed by the train the trainers sessions for the future trainers in the partner countries.

During these pilot and train the trainer sessions, we had the participation of 25-30 players from SK Slavia Praha “A” Women and SK Slavia Praha U17 Men in the Czech Republic; 9 players from the Mgarr United in Malta; 13-24 players from Voetbal Vlaanderen (the Association of all Flemish football clubs in Belgium) and ACFF (the Association of all Walloon football in Belgium; 34 players from Nea salamina, Derynia, Ayia NAPA, and Apollon Ladies in Cyprus, and 150 trainers will be trained soon in Greece.

The team of experts that participated in these activities includes academics, sport integrity, and betting specialists, specialists on whistleblowing, and investigators with sound experience in building and educating good governance and strategies of sports and combating serious crimes. The experts performed background analyses and field-work interviews to help us research the various facets of sport corruption. 

By using CSCF international experts’ knowledge in the domain and the support of the country partners, more than 700 athletes and trainers were trained through pilot sessions, train the trainers and delivery by the trainers to players in 2021.

The sessions by the trained trainers have already started in the partner countries. The knowledge of integrity has been spread around the countries amongst youth and women footballers and is planned to directly impact more than 10,000 people in the long term.

The Integriball trainings will continue in all the countries after the project ends.

The federations and union have committed to using the developed material to maintain knowledge and raise awareness among this specific target group of football players on fighting sport manipulation in Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Malta.

The knowledge of the project is expected to help to develop a product which will be adaptable for use not only in the countries of the Partners but also in other European countries and beyond.

During the project’s lifetime, the knowledge on the topic was constantly measured through surveys. Based on the results of the survey, it could be stated that while the athletes did not have much first-hand experience with match-fixing, which is definitely a positive sign, most of them also had not taken part in any sport manipulation-related education before. So, generally, they had little knowledge about the topic. There were other factors signaling the importance of integrity education for them, such as a big proportion of them saying that match-fixing was very common in football, or the fact that half of the respondents knew someone who was addicted to gambling. As the project was going on, further surveying showed that the knowledge and awareness of participants about sport manipulation was growing, and that they were satisfied with the content and education they were receiving.

“I truly believe that the outputs of the Integriball Erasmus plus project, that were developed meticulously and delivered widely, will help to prepare not only the participating federation and union football players to be very successful, cautious and knowledgeable sportsmen and sportswomen, but they can also be transferred beyond these countries, thus benefiting the wider society of Europe and beyond,” Norbert Rubicsek, CSCF Director.

We want to thank all the partners, experts and participants for being part of this initiative and for their support and collaboration on this project. We also want to thank UEFA and the Council of Europe for their support in ensuring consistency of progress.

We all stand against manipulation in sport!