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As English football introduces new betting regulations - which come into force as of 1st August 2014 -PFA Assistant Chief Executive Simon Barker gives an overview of the PFA's role in educating its members and preventive measures taken to tackle match-fixing.

The PFA is one of nine member countries of FIFPro that have been participating in a global project called 'Don't Fix It'. Whilst the current project has just concluded, the intention is to start a new programme next year. Nineteen countries (including eight of the original nine members) have signed up to participate.

Barker – a member of the Don't Fix It transnational steering group - explains: "Don't Fix It has given our overall approach a bit more structure and is underpinned by education."

"In conjunction with the other countries involved, we surveyed our membership in order to obtain valuable information from the players and ensure that we were making decisions based on evidence led data. In the survey, the percentage of players in England who understood the existing betting regulations was very high, higher than any other participating country."

"I think this is the result of hard work undertaken over a 5 year period to educate our members.

"Last year, PFA staff completed a 'Train the Trainer' course facilitated by Interpol and attended by representatives of FIFA, UEFA, FA and the PFA. This has certainly helped our executives to be able to effectively communicate to our members the key aspects of betting integrity, inside information and match-fixing, and also introduced a new focus on the psychological aspects of getting the message across to members."

Domestically, the PFA has been part of a collaborative approach to tackle the threat of match-fixing, working directly with the football industry, governing bodies and player associations from other sports, law enforcement agencies, government and with the gambling industry.

The PFA has worked with all the major stakeholders within football, including: The Football Association, Premier League, Football League, Football Conference and League Managers Associations in relation to educational provisions but also re-evaluating the existing regulations.

Barker represents both the PFA and the Professional Players Federation (PPF) on a body called the Sports Betting Group, which comprises key representatives of the governing bodies from the different sports in the UK. This body emanated from the Sports Betting Integrity Panel Report published in 2010, which was commissioned by the UK Government and chaired by Rick Parry, and provides leadership in sport and shares best practice on issues within sports betting.

The PFA and PPF are also represented on a committee, called the Tripartite Forum which is a body originally comprising representatives of Sport, the Gambling Commission and Betting Operators but has since been expanded to include representatives of law enforcement agencies such as the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and National Crime Agency (NCA). This body debates and agrees on protocols, frameworks and research in the areas of match fixing and betting integrity whilst also making recommendations on changes to legislation by the UK and EU Governments.

Barker: "Over the last few years, collectively we have achieved a lot. The aim is to try and create an environment that makes it very difficult for match-fixers to operate in this country."

"Match-fixers are undoubtedly here looking for opportunities and English football is not immune, but we need to make it as tough as possible for anyone trying to corrupt football or any other sport."