Awareness is Key in the Fight Against Match-Fixing

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Nick Garlick frem Europol on planary session – Match fixing cure: Is the mafia invincible. Photo: Jannik Toft Friis

During his speeches at Play the Game, Harri Syväsalmi, Director of Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, has explained that shining a light on match-fixing is an important factor towards fixing the issue.

”What we need to do is to raise awareness. We are fighting criminal organisations, and we should act accordingly,” he stated.

Awareness is a succes

Senior specialist Nick Garlick of Europol concurs, and explained that investigations serves a bigger purpose in the fight than singular convictions of athletes and criminals.

“We need greater awareness, and the biggest success of the recent investigations is the greater awareness of the issue”.

Make it easier for the whistleblowers

Whistleblowers get a bad reputation, and generally suffers more under the guise of being “rats” than the actual perpetrators of match-fixing.

And as Nick Garlick explains, that attitude needs alteration for something to truly change in the world of sports.

“Athletes should be happy to report match fixing, without being looked down at as whistleblowers. Zero tolerance is not the way in my opinion, and players reporting match fixing should be able to continue their careers without lifetime bans and stigma.”

Athletes as a part of the solution

Harri Syvasalmi agrees, that the athletes should be treated as heroes for blowing the whistle, rather than like criminals.

“Athletes needs to be a part of the solution from the beginning, instead of a part of the problem”.

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