EU funding program rewards groundbreaking educational campaign against match fixing

Brussels, 21 November 2012: The European Commission gives a green light to co-finance with the European online betting industry and EU Athletes an educational campaign that will help professional sportspeople better understand the risks linked to match fixing.

The EU co-financing (see link) follows the educational campaign developed and initiated originally under the leadership in 2010 of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), EU Athletes and joined in 2011 by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA).

The EU funding will co-finance 46% of a total budget of €500,000 for a project that will allow the European online betting industry and EU Athletes to significantly expand their existing campaign by targeting 15,000 young athletes in 13 countries and at least 10 different sports. The campaign is to start from the 1 January 2013 and cover an 18 month period. It will allow an additional number of ex professional players to educate their peers through face to face meetings about the sports rules regarding betting and match fixing.

Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of the EGBA and co founder of the initiative said: “The EGBA was a pioneer of this project back in 2010 with EU Athletes and as the main private financial partner we are delighted that the Commission’s co-funding is endorsing our work done over those last 2 years.”

Jeff Reymonds, Secretary General of EU Athletes, added: “The financing from the EU and the betting industry will allow the players’ associations to dramatically expand their education programmes all around Europe. Educating young players about the dangers of match fixing is a vital component in protecting sporting integrity and the support of our partners will make all the difference.”

Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA added: “When the RGA and our members first funded the UK Professional Players Federation betting education programme in February 2010, it was a new concept, but one we felt could play a significant role in the fight against potential match fixing. With that experience we were glad to support the EU Athletes bid for funding so that comparable training will be made available across Europe.”