Sports betting integrity organisation ESSA is to work on three new projects to combat match-fixing after being granted funding by the European Commission's Erasmus+ education and training programme.
This will see ESSA work with athletics federation EU Athletes on a new whistleblowing programme. It will also support a new programme of workshops to deter athletes from match-fixing launched by the Lisbon and Milan Catholic Universities, as well as a new study on key motivations behind match-fixing overseen by the Polish Football Association.
"These projects have the potential to make a significant positive impact in the fight against match-fixing," ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali said. "They represent an important part of ESSA's goal to protect our members, consumers and sporting events from betting related corruption, in collaboration with key stakeholders.
"We look forward to working closely with our partners and contributing fully to all of the projects we are involved in."
EU Athletes' PROtect Integrity+ project aims to create the first European-wide, athlete-led whistleblowing system. This is currently being rolled out in seven countries across five different sports that fall under the athletics umbrella, with a secure mobile application allowing players to report approaches to fix matches and other suspicious behaviour.
The Lisbon and Milan Catholic Universities, meanwhile, are coordinating the T-PREG project. This will devise a series of workshops to educate individuals about match-fixing and highlight its risks and consequences. Through these workshops it aims to raise awareness of match-fixing reporting systems in at least five EU countries, across all levels of sport.
Finally, the Fundacja Ekstraklasy programme, backed by Polish football's governing body, is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the key motivations behind match-fixing, helping to improve and hone preventative actions.
With its involvement in the three new programmes, ESSA is currently backing four programmes to combat match-fixing. Last year it began working alongside Transparency International's Anti-Match-Fixing Top Training initiative after again securing Erasmus+ funding.
This programme aims to deliver tailored training for decision-makers in sport and the media to promote increased understanding of sporting corruption, and help to develop effective policy guidelines for the European Commission.