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Austrian football has been rocked by the recent reports on match-fixing. Much to the chagrin of the national footballers’ association VdF, the Minister of Sports ‘forgot’ to invite the players during a special meeting where all stakeholders were to discuss the problem.

 

Last Monday, December 2, the Austrian Football Federation (ÖFB), League (Bundesliga) and Minister of Sports gathered to discuss match-fixing and to search for measures to help eradicate this problem. ‘It is a shame and uncomprehensible that the players’ union and the players’ representatives were not invited’, said VdF President Gernot Zirngast.

 

‘When you are looking for solutions to problems that directly concern the players, then the voices of these players need be heard. It remains unknown why the Minister thinks differently...’

 

‘It can be seen as evidence that the level of the Social Dialogue in Austrian football is poor, when one of the partners is (deliberately?) forgotten. Once again this shows that in Austrian football, the social dialogue only exists on paper and not in reality. Apparently, even the Minister shares this impression…’

 

The VdF says that it cannot accept that decisions are made at the expense of the players, and states that the union will discuss with its members the measures that the forementioned parties have decided on.

 

Another point of critique is, that issues that are significant in the fight against match-fixing (for example dual training and players’ unemployment) were neither observed nor discussed at the stakeholders’ meeting. Zirngast: ‘While trying to eradicate such a complex problem as match-fixing, it must be considered that these matters are at least indirectly connected to the solution.’