UEFA & Europol hold first conference to fight match-fixing in football

Europe’s top football association will cooperate with the continent’s law enforcement agency to tackle the issue facing the game

UEFA and Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, gathered on Tuesday in a conference to discuss methods to tackle match-fixing in football.

It is the first time the agency and European football’s governing body have come together to discuss cooperation in the fight against corruption in the sport.

A total of 109 law enforcement, judicial authorities and officials from 49 football associations met in Den Haag as expert panels discussed the threats facing the game today and in the future.

What was discussed at the Europol and UEFA conference?

The officials met to discuss how to “identify new ways to investigate and cooperate in cases related to sport corruption and match-fixing,” a statement from Europol read.

“They discussed topics such as operational collaboration between law enforcement bodies and football integrity officers, and the early detection of suspicious betting patterns.  

“Prevention was also high on the agenda, with discussions focusing on new, recently adopted legal frameworks and existing tools designed to prevent match-fixing and facilitate information sharing.”

What has UEFA said?

UEFA’s Managing Director of Integrity and Regulations, Angelo Rigopoulos, said of the conference: “This first joint Europol-UEFA international conference is an important step forward in the fight against match-fixing, and sends out a strong signal that both organisations are here to pool their forces and do their utmost to minimise this phenomenon.”

Meanwhile, Vincent Ven, UEFA’s Head of Anti-Match-Fixing, said there is an urgent need for the governing body to team up with law enforcement to tackle the issue of match-fixing.

“Nowadays, more than ever before, European football and the law enforcement sector need to remain united and offer their mutual support in seeking to protect our popular sport from this scourge, by cooperating in joint activities, implementing common projects and exchanging information in the area of match-fixing,” Ven said.