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The European Commissioner for Sports, Androulla Vassiliou, had a meeting with the FIFPro representatives responsible for the Don’t Fix It project. The Commissioner appreciated the efforts by FIFPro and its partners in trying to tackle match-fixing. 

 

During the EU Sport Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, Don’t Fix It project director Frederique Winia welcomed Commissioner Vassiliou to inform her about the process of the anti match-fixing campaign by FIFPro, Birkbeck University and UEFA.

 

‘She was very interested in our project, mainly because she is of the opinion that match-fixing is a serious threat to sports’, Winia said. ‘She appreciated the fact that we – the players' unions – are visiting the dressing rooms, to talk directly to the players in order to educate them about the dangers of match-fixing.’

 

‘Commissioner Vassiliou added that she hopes that the results of our project will not be limited to the nine countries that are participating in Don’t Fix It, but that other European countries as well will experience positive effects from the project.’

 

Currently, FIFPro and its partners are in the process of distributing the Code of Conduct that has been created by FIFPro and UEFA. ‘Commissioner Vassiliou said the Code of Conduct was a good initiative to spread our message.’ 

 

Winia: ‘Our meeting with Commissioner Vassiliou was a good opportunity to inform her that - in most cases – the players are the victims of match-fixing and not the instigators. Match-fixing does not start with the players, they are at the end of the chain. Too often, the players are severely penalised while the real criminals remain untouched.’

 

FIFPro emphasised that the problem of non-payment is one of the main reasons for players getting involved with match-fixing. Winia: ‘Our research shows that players who do not receive their wages on time, or are not even paid at all, are at far greater risk of being approached by match-fixers.’

 

 

 

Photo: Suzanne Bakker and Frederique Winia (both FIFPro) and Commissioner Vassiliou