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FIFPro and the Finnish trade union for professional football players (JPY) are testing a warning system for combating match-fixing. Professional footballers can use a special app to make an anonymous report if they are approached to manipulate matches or if they have a strong suspicion of manipulation.

In March, just before the start of the current national football season in Finland, the Finnish players union JPY launched its project in which players can use the so-called Players Red Button on their mobile telephone to make an anonymous report of any attempt to manipulate a match.

Representatives of the JPY visited all the clubs in the Finnish football league to explain the project to the players in their dressing-rooms. Since then, the Players Red Button has been downloaded more than 1,200 times. Virtually every professional footballer in Finland has installed the app.

FIFPro is financing the project, which is seen as a pilot for the future introduction in other countries that are participating in Don’t Fix It, the education and prevention programme to fight match-fixing in football. The experiences of the Finnish players union will be used to assess whether the warning system can be introduced in other countries.

‘Until now we have received very positive feedback from our Finnish colleagues about the Players Red Button system,’ explains Frederique Winia, Don’t Fix It project manager. In June, JPY chairman Markus Juhola presented the project to all the participants of the Don’t Fix It training conference in Budapest, who all reacted with considerable enthusiasm and interest.

Winia: ‘But before we decide on the implementation of this app in the eight countries that participate in Don’t Fix It, it is extremely important that we receive the assurance that the protection of the players is completely guaranteed in all countries and that their anonymity takes pride of place.’