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Failing to report a match-fixing approach can harm your career

Seek legal advice from your player association if you are approached.

As a professional player you should always resist and report any approaches in which you are asked to fix a match.

Failure to do so could seriously jeopardize and even end your career as a footballer.

In 2016, Samir Arab, a Malta Under-21 national team player, was asked to manipulate a match in a UEFA European Championship qualifiers.

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Samir Arab, former Malta national team player

He ignored the approach, and bravely gave evidence in court against the criminal who contacted him.

Even so, he  received a two-year ban from UEFA for not informing the European ruling body about the approach.

As a result, the Malta Football Players Association expressed concerns about rules obliging footballers to be whistleblowers against criminal gangs.

“We live on a small island where everyone knows everyone. I am not comfortable telling people to report match fixing, without a system in place to protect them.”

— by Carlo Mamo, general secretary of Malta’s player association

To help players report approaches anonymously, FIFPRO has developed the Red Button app with the Finnish player association.

First implemented in Finland, the Red Button app is also available to players in New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Following Arab’s ban, the player association has sought support from football stakeholders to introduce the Red Button app in Malta.

Over the coming years, FIFPRO plans to roll out the app to more countries.

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Secure and personal

The app was made by a company which makes high-security software for banks.

Through your player association it gives you a personal pin code so that you can make an anonymous report if you are aware of a match fixing approach or attempt.

This report is seen only by a trusted person such as an  integrity official, government ombudsman or police officer, and cannot be traced back to you.

The system has been approved by Interpol, the international police organization.

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