ICSS, EU partners launch initiative to combat match-fixing and illegal betting

  • 2 years   ago

The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) in Doha has partnered with the European Union (EU) to launch the BITEFIX project for combatting match-fixing and fraud in sports. 

The project named ‘Building innovative tools for the exchange of information and awareness-raising against match-fixing in sport’ (BITEFIX), launched by the ICSS, through its ICSS INSIGHT, along with seven organizations from six EU countries in a collaborative partnership under the EU ERASMUS+ sport program, intends to achieve an enhanced cooperation between stakeholders and innovative practical tools to fight corruption in sport, and tackle match-fixing and betting fraud. 

The BITEFIX project, financially backed by the EU, aims at creating and offering tools to enable committed stakeholders to work together, contributing to a greater efficiency of the existing exchange of information mechanisms. This is particularly in support of the national platforms under the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, also referred to as the Macolin Convention. Simultaneously, it is also expected to bolster the resilience of the system in combating match-fixing and encouraging capacity-building. 



During the launch ceremony, the transnational multisector partnership addressed the pressing issue of how match-fixing has become more prevalent today than ever. This was mainly due to the lack of quality information exchange systems, proper awareness of key stakeholders, and shortage of efficient capacity-building programs for sport organizations and other stakeholders, enabling an increasing damaging criminal infiltration in sports. 

This indicated that a continuous development and improvement of innovative tools was critical to enable key stakeholders (including law enforcement authorities, betting regulators, betting operators, government agencies and sport-governing bodies) to work together to combat match-fixing and betting fraud in sport. A secure medium for the timely exchange of reliable information as well as raising awareness of the importance of safeguarding the integrity of sport would go a long way in fighting fraud. 

Designed and implemented by a coalition of organization from different sectors, the BITEFIX project will be executed in coordination with other relevant ICSS strategic partners, such as the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), to ensure the highest possible impact of the envisaged activities and dissemination of outcomes.

Mohammed Hanzab, Chairman of ICSS, pointed out that the exchange of information to combat the manipulation of sport is a systematic problem for sporting governing bodies, regulators, law enforcement authorities and other key actors of civil society. The Council of Europe’s Macolin Convention is offering a concrete legal framework to help combat match-fixing and fight fraud. But there is still a pressing need to enhanced cooperation, promote the exchange of best practices as well as set up comprehensive practical instruments. All these are expected to raise greater awareness among stakeholders and to build the overall resilience of the system.