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The Hungarian professional footballers association HLSZ recently hosted its national Don’t Fix It conference. The Hungarian players union is one of nine participating players associations in the Don’t Fix It’ project.


This project - an initiative by FIFPro and UEFA which is co-founded by the European Commission - is aimed at improving education and awareness throughout European football on the issue of match fixing, and therefore assuring that the integrity of football is maintained.


An important step in this Don’t Fix It project are the national conferences, organized by the nine players unions. The most important goals of such conferences are to increase the knowledge of the participating audience and the establishment of a National Joint Committee.


HLSZ President Gábor Horváth: ‘I believe our national conference was a great success. We had about 60 participants in the main section, players and managers from the first and second divisions.’


‘Given the specific situation in Hungary – recently, research proved that there was evidence of match-fixing in Hungary - we've agreed with the Federation that we need to reach out to the players and the clubs on a larger scale than other countries would do. We invited the team captains and club managers to participate in the conference.’


To increase the number of participants, HLSZ also organised its general assembly before the conference. Many players decided to stay on after the general assembly and participate in the conference. Horváth: ‘It was very beneficial for the players, as they were immediately able to spread the information within their teams.’


HLSZ invited speakers from Hungary and abroad, among others Tony Higgins (FIFPro Division Europe Board Member and Chair of Don’t Fix It), Graham Peaker (UEFA’s Intelligence Co-ordinator) and Tibor Pomper (photo above). Said Horváth: ‘Tibor is a former football player who admitted fixing a match in the past. His honesty and his regret of his past actions were very moving and I believe it was a good lesson for everyone who was present.’


Horváth was satisfied with the outcome of the Hungarian national conference: ‘We have successfully established our National Joint Committee, which is ready to take the next step in the fight against match-fixing.’


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