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Red Button app in focus as FIFPRO hosts anti-match-fixing conference


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FIFPRO is on Wednesday hosting the ‘Preventing Match Fixing’ conference that will examine how to combat the illegal manipulation of football games with perspectives from players, government, police and betting companies.

The event is being organized by Steve Menary, leader of an Erasmus+ project funded by the European Commission who has conducted three years of research into match-fixing in friendlies, or non-competitive matches, with the University of Nicosia.

Menary will present a 112-page report that looks at the problem of match-fixing in friendlies and was written with the assistance of players and player unions in Malta, Cyprus and Greece, as well as EU Athletes.

The conference will also feature a presentation about FIFPRO’s Red Button app, an athlete-only mobile-phone app that gives players an effective way to report illegal approaches anonymously without compromising their security.

The Red Button app was developed by the Finnish player union in conjunction with the Finnish government and is now wholly owned by FIFPRO.

The app is being rolled out worldwide, with the support of partners at a national level including governments and police. Representatives from the Belgian, Dutch and Greek governments will participate at the conference, as well as delegates from Interpol and German police.

Officials from FIFA and UEFA, which have both endorsed the Red Button app, will also speak about integrity along with STATS Perform, a sports data provider, and the International Betting Integrity Association, which represents licensed bookmakers.

Among other attendees will be Samir Arab, a former Under-21 national team player from Malta who served a two-year ban from football for not reporting a match-fixing approach. Arab has spoken of how the Red Button app could have helped protect his safety and avoid him receiving a sanction.

The conference is an invitation-only event. The report and video recordings of segments of the conference will be published on the website of the Erasmus+ project.