Fifa, football’s global governing body, has designated a new smartphone app developed by the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) to anonymously report match-fixing as a valid reporting tool for potential corruption in the sport.
The agreement means that Fifa and its dedicated integrity department will investigate confidential information submitted via the app that is shared by FIFPro.
Created in partnership with Finland’s player association and wholly owned by FIFPro, the Red Button app allows professional footballers around the world to anonymously report match-fixing approaches.
FIFPro said that the ability to report approaches anonymously will help protect footballers concerned about the consequences on their careers and personal safety.
Red Button was built with technology that ensures no trace of a report is left on a smartphone, while the app also gives players the option to leave contact details so that investigators can contact them in confidence about match-fixing cases.
The app will now complement Fifa’s existing confidential reporting platforms, such as the Fifa Integrity App and BKMS, as well as other methods available at both national and international level.
“Safeguarding the integrity of football and ensuring that all participants can play in a safe environment is a top priority for us,” Fifa’s deputy legal and compliance officer, and director of integrity and anti-doping, Oliver Jaberg, said.
“Working together with stakeholders at all levels of football is key part of Fifa’s approach to protecting the integrity of football and we look forward to collaborating with FIFPro on this new initiative.”
FIFPro’s legal director Roy Vermeer praised Fifa for its support of the new app, stating his confidence that the technology will play major role in clamping down on match-fixing across the world of football, while helping to protect whistle-blowers.
“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,” Vermeer said.
“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.”
In July, the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), the sports betting integrity body for the lottery industry, said football was the sport that generated the highest amount of suspicious betting alerts in the first half of the year.
Some 197 of all 269 alerts registered in the period were in relation to football events.