Samir Arab 02 1650

Red Button: Footballer hit with harsh 2-year ban endorses app

Anti-Match-Fixing Player story

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Samir Arab 02 1650
Footballer Samir Arab is endorsing FIFPRO's Red Button app, a way for players to report match-fixing approaches anonymously.

This is his personal story.

In 2016, Samir Arab was a player for Malta’s Under-21 national team.

He was on the verge of breaking into the senior team, and a chance to play against some of the world’s best footballers.

One day, a former teammate who had not seen for months invited him to a meeting in a local café.

There, in a wooden booth, he offered Samir €3,000 to fix a European Championship qualifying match.

Samir Arab rejected the approach – but he was scared of reporting the approach to football authorities.

“I know the people behind these acts are criminal gangs, mafia and dangerous people,” he said.

Samir Arab's story

The police soon found out and began an investigation. Samir cooperated with police, and even gave evidence in court.

But football authorities said Samir should have reported his café meeting to them – and banned him from football for 2 years.

“I lost 2 years of my career,” Samir said. “I lost 2 years of progress.”

If Samir had the Red Button app on his phone, his life could have been a lot easier.

The FIFPRO-owned app is a safe way to report match-fixing approaches.

We are making the app available to players through our national player associations.

And Samir is helping FIFPRO promote the Red Button app so other footballers don’t have to go through the same experience as him.