Friday 11 September 2020, 08:45

FIFPRO & FIFA sign collaboration agreement to reinforce fight against match-fixing with smartphone app

FIFPRO and FIFA have signed a collaboration agreement endorsing a smartphone app that allows professional footballers to anonymously report match-fixing approaches.

The Red Button app is wholly-owned by FIFPRO and is being distributed globally to players through its affiliated national player associations. It complements existing confidential reporting platforms already introduced by FIFA, including the FIFA Integrity App and BKMS, as well as other reporting mechanisms that are available at national and international level.

Under the agreement, the Red Button app is recognised by FIFA and its dedicated Integrity department as a valid reporting tool and FIFA will investigate confidential information submitted via the Red Button app that is shared by FIFPRO.

The ability to report match-fixing approaches anonymously will help protect professional footballers concerned about the consequences on their careers and their personal safety. The Red Button app is built with technology that ensures no trace of a report is left on their smartphones. The app also gives players the option to leave their contact details so that investigators can contact them confidentially.

Football is the most-targeted sport by international organised crime according to Europol, which in a recent report says they are using a range of different approaches to try and infiltrate the game.

Created in a partnership between Finland’s player association and government, Red Button was ranked the highest of 20 whistle-blower apps in international sports in a recent study, according to a report by Liverpool University.

"We are pleased that FIFA has agreed to endorse the Red Button app FIFPRO is making available to professional footballers through our affiliated player associations," said FIFPRO’s Legal Director Roy Vermeer. "We are confident it will strengthen the hand of football and public authorities in the fight against match fixing.

“With players facing disciplinary action for failing to report a match-fixing approach, there must be a way for them to do this without fear that they are putting themselves, their families and their careers in danger. The Red Button app provides this facility and will help players manage this considerable risk that, through no fault of their own, might confront them at any time.”

Oliver Jaberg, Deputy Chief Legal & Compliance Officer and Director of Integrity & Anti-Doping at FIFA, added: “Safeguarding the integrity of football and ensuring that all participants can play in a safe environment is a top priority for FIFA. This new collaboration with FIFPRO and their Red Button app will provide players with another important and easy-to-use platform to confidentially report any concerns they may have, as well as building on existing reporting platforms in place – like the FIFA Integrity App – that are currently available at national and international level.

“Working together with stakeholders at all levels of football is a key part of FIFA’s approach to protecting the integrity of football and we look forward to collaborating with FIFPRO on this new initiative.”