March 26 (Reuters) - UEFA has signed an information-sharing agreement with the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) in an effort to combat match-fixing, European soccer’s governing body announced on Monday.
According to the agreement, ESSA will support UEFA’s effort to identify attempted fixing through their alert platform, which tracks and reports suspicious betting activity around the world.
“We’re delighted that ESSA will be teaming up with UEFA in our mission to eradicate manipulation of matches from football,” UEFA’s managing director of integrity Emilio Garcia said in a statement.
“The exchange of information between trusted partners is a key milestone in this fight,” he added.
“ESSA has played a key role in coordinating and focusing the licensed, regulated betting industry’s zero-tolerance approach to the threat of betting-related match-fixing in sport,” said Khalid Ali, ESSA secretary general.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said the fight against match-fixing, “a disease that attacks football’s very core”, is a main priority.
As part of its own zero-tolerance policy towards match-fixing, UEFA also operates a fraud detection system which looks into betting activities around 32,000 games in Europe each year.
UEFA’s integrity officers in each national association liaise with local law enforcement agencies, and the governing body also works with European law enforcement agency EUROPOL. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Andrew Roche)