Safeguarding support for the UEFA Foundation for Children

Background

The UEFA Foundation for Children and Sportradar Intelligence & Investigation Services (I&I) have worked in partnership for three years to ensure those partnering with the Foundation are fit to fill this role, thus protecting the welfare of those receiving assistance.

 

Effective Protection

Previous checks performed by I&I have highlighted reputational issues such as political issues, financial mismanagement, discriminatory language and adverse media. Eliminating these concerns helps to ensure the Foundation continues to provide positive support and maximises its impact on children in need, enabling it to focus on its core objectives and instilling trust in its selected recipients.

I&I’s role is to make sure the Foundation is made aware of any of these potential problems and that its partners are reflective of the high standards of the organisation. The importance of the children is placed at the forefront of everything the Foundation hopes to achieve, so it is crucial those associated with projects are closely monitored.

 

 

Facts & Figures

 

Team:

Intelligence and Investigation

Project reach:

Global

Partner:

UEFA Foundation for Children

Period:

Since 2018

Aim:

To protect the welfare of those children receiving assistance

Website:

https://uefafoundation.org/

About the UEFA Foundation for Children

Although Europe-based, UEFA’s work with children stretches beyond these borders, making it a global leader in this field. It has used this position for good, electing to set up the UEFA Foundation for Children in April 2015 as a body to safeguard children’s rights and assist with the integration of minorities in society.

The UEFA Foundation for Children supports those most in need by creating opportunities for children to live better lives. This includes promoting dignity and respect towards the members of humanity living with disabilities, improving the living conditions of global refugees, empowering young women, encouraging children to develop life skills including respect, team spirit and personal commitment, and assisting with social integration and future employment.

The Foundation is fully accountable to its donors, sponsors and stakeholders, as well as the public. It ensures transparency regarding the origins of its funds and the ways in which those funds are used.

Statements

 

We are delighted to assist the UEFA Foundation for Children with our comprehensive due diligence services. Our projects play a vital role in identifying the best possible partners for the organisation and we are proud to contribute to this worthy cause. We greatly admire the Foundation’s achievements and, through our close partnership, will ensure it continues to succeed by working with partners that adhere to the highest possible standards of integrity.

Andreas Krannich, Managing Director Integrity Services at Sportradar

 

Sportradar’s Intelligence & Investigation Services are our safety net we rely on before providing an organisation with financial assistance. It is critical that a strong due diligence mechanism is in place, so that the UEFA Foundation are only working with the most deserving of causes.”

Urs Kluser, General Secretary, UEFA Foundation for Children

About Intelligence & Investigation Services

Sportradar’s I&I team is a leader in providing intelligence and investigation solutions to sporting federations, law enforcement, government agencies, clubs, and anti-doping organizations, and works alongside more than 80 global partners.

I&I staff have vast experience in investigating criminal and compliance issues, with backgrounds in corporate due diligence, military intelligence units and law enforcement agencies. All work is done in adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with protocols and data held internally audited on a regular basis.

I&I subscribe to comprehensive compliance databases which contain intelligence gathered from thousands of regional and global news sources, and millions of company registries. In addition, I&I has built its own internal databases and tools, including one containing more than 1,100 persons-of-interest involved in sporting fraud, collated from open-source news articles, historical I&I cases, deep web court judgements and more than 11 years of intelligence on match-fixing.

Partnership with Intelligence & Investigation Services

Safeguarding measures have never been as important as they are today, so it is vital the Foundation takes every possible step to ensure the children they work with are protected and secure; this is where I&I has provided support for the past three years.

I&I perform due diligence checks on organisations and persons looking to work with the Foundation to ensure they are an appropriate partner and maintain high standards of integrity. These entities are examined for financial, criminal and reputational issues, conflicts of interest or any child safeguarding issues which would render them inappropriate to act as a partner.

The most common issue identified in the checking process is adverse media. Many of the Foundation applicants have long histories in business or sport and may have run afoul financially, ethically, or legally. In these cases, accusations are vetted for accuracy in case of mistaken identity or misplaced distrust, while conflicts of interest can also be identified.  Politically exposed persons must also be named. Finally, any history of financial fraud is investigated. Overall, the vast majority of organisations are in good order and character and pass to the next decision phase.

 

UEFA Foundation for Children: In Focus

According to a UNICEF study, more than 90% of children with disabilities remain out of primary education in Bangladesh. This leads to these children being denied their basic rights beyond education, including access to sport and leisure activities. Moreover, the country’s strong patriarchal society can often result in a worse picture for girls, both with and without disabilities.

The poor capacity of local schools and clubs to respond to the needs of children with disabilities contributes to delayed physical and psychosocial development, low confidence, as well as social exclusion. Girls are often subject to physical and sexual abuse, and exploitation.

Since January 2018, the Foundation has provided €117,450 in funding to give support to these vulnerable children in Bangladesh This allows schools and children’s clubs to be better equipped to promote access to inclusive sports and leisure activities, and to promote inclusion in education, thereby creating increased functional autonomy for these children.

It is believed the project will directly result in 800 children – including 400 with disabilities, 200 of which are girls – participating in inclusive sports and leisure activities; 20 sports coaches were trained to adapt and facilitate inclusive sport. Furthermore, this support will provide for 400 carers who look after children with disabilities. Thirty mainstream schoolteachers will also be trained to support schoolchildren with disabilities. It is hoped this will reduce discrimination against children with disabilities, thereby encouraging increased social participation within the community.