Completion of the “Malta FA Integrity Tour 2014”
Thursday, 20th February saw the completion of the ‘Say No To Match-fixing’ Integrity Tour held in Malta. This integrity program conducted workshops with each of the clubs in the top two leagues in Malta, as well as two workshops with the match officials. For the past six weeks, players and referees across the country have been educated about the problems that the sport of football faces today, related to betting and match-fixing.
Over 1,000 individuals have attended the 27 workshops held by Sportradar, on behalf of the Maltese Football Association. All of this would not have been possible without the foresight of Italian bookmaker, Betaland, who by sponsoring this unique program were able to give something back to the local game in the country they are now based.
The workshops were a great success and will help repair the damage inflicted on the reputation of Maltese football in the wake of recent match-fixing scandals. Sportradar’s Integrity Manager, Ben Paterson, who ran these workshops, said: “The problems here in Malta have been well documented. This integrity program has really helped raise the awareness of the current issues. The clubs have welcomed us and seem to be embracing the opportunity to protect their sport. The people here love their football and I think we have made a considerable difference.”
Franz Tabone, Malta FA Integrity Officer, said: “Through our recent experience and after having seen what betting related match-fixing has done to football, we felt that we are at a disadvantage as to how we can tackle this huge problem. We consider that education is our strongest and probably the only tool at our disposal, to avoid further destruction. It is with this in mind that we collaborated with Sportradar and embarked on the Integrity Tour – “Say NO to MATCH-FIXING”. We identified the strategy to go to the clubs and show the players and administrators how to be aware of the dangers and associated pitfalls. The response from all the participants was positive and we hope that we will be seeing some improvement to the situation in the near future.”