The Greek government has signed a partnership agreement with FIFPRO to support the use of the Red Button app in Greece, ensuring professional footballers and other athletes have a safe and effective way to report match-fixing approaches.
The government has agreed to the partnership to strengthen integrity across some of the biggest team sports. The agreement will also allow athletes in basketball, handball, volleyball and water polo to install FIFPRO’s secure app on their smartphones and report corrupt approaches anonymously to government-appointed case handlers in order to protect both themselves and their sport.
The Red Button app is an athlete-only app that was developed by the Finnish football player union and Finnish government with a company that makes high-security software for banks. The app is now wholly owned by FIFPRO. Reports via the Red Button app can only be seen only by a trusted person such as an integrity official, government ombudsman or police officer. The reports cannot be traced back, making athletes more likely to use them than other reporting mechanisms.
The app has been endorsed by both national governments and international football authorities including both FIFA and UEFA, whose rules say footballers may face a two-year ban unless they report a match-fixing approach. The multi-sport partnership in Greece follows a request to the government by the domestic football player union, PSAP, to help implement the app. Under the partnership, the government’s dedicated team of case handlers will investigate thoroughly each report by an athlete received via the app.
We want to equip our athletes with all possible means in order to recognize, resist and report relevant approaches and threats that can be fatal for their career and harmful for their sport. Through awareness raising and educational campaigns as well as with reliable and effective reporting mechanisms developed in our National Platform, the Greek state and the sport movement join forces to protect sport.”
Giannis Braho, PSAP’s Manager of Player Services and International Affairs, said: “We would like to thank the government for agreeing to our request to implement the Red Button app in Greek football and other sports. This is a good example of how player unions and the state can work together on important issues in the best interests of footballers and the game. We strongly believe the app is a very important tool and we will be encouraging all our members at all levels of Greek football to install it on the mobile phones. If a football player is in the wrong place and the wrong time and is approached, or even threatened, by someone who wants them to manipulate a game it can put them and their family in danger through no fault of their own. The app provides a safe way for them to react in the correct way.”
Frederique Winia, FIFPRO’s Head of Member Services, said: “This partnership is another significant step in the global roll out of the Red Button app. We are pleased the Greek government has seen the value of the app in protecting integrity across multiple sports and we have begun providing government officials with all the ongoing support necessary to implement the app for footballers and other athletes. It is crucial that in each country where the Red Button is available that we have strong national partners like the Greek government to make sure each report by players and athletes is investigated. Only then can players and athletes be sure they are not only protecting themselves against punishment but also making a real difference in keeping their sport clean.”