FIFA Endorses New Match-Fixing Reporting App

  • Players can use the Red Button app to anonymously report proposals to fix soccer matches
  • Information provided will be reviewed by the FIFA's integrity unit
  • Samir Arab, suspended for being too scared to report a match-fixing approach, endorses the app
Money on a foosball table
The new FIFPro Red Button app, which allows soccer players to anonymously report if they have been approached to fix a match, has been fully endorsed by FIFA. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Developed from within the sport

FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, has officially endorsed a new smartphone application developed by the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro). The new FIFPro Red Button app will allow players to anonymously report when they are approached about match-fixing. The app will act as a reporting tool for potential corruption within the sport of soccer.

With the endorsement, FIFA will use its integrity department to investigate the information shared via the new app. With this anonymous option, players should feel more at ease in notifying regulators about being propositioned to fix a match.

FIFPro announced the new app on Twitter:

Completely anonymous

The technology used to create the Red Button app ensures that no trace of the report remains on the mobile device. Players can choose to report a match-fixing approach and remain anonymous. They can also choose to provide contact details so that investigators can get in touch with them during the investigation.

soccer is the top-targeted sport when it comes to international organized criminal activity.

Players are often concerned about how their careers or for their personal safety will be affected by reporting an incident. The anonymity of the app helps alleviate this fear.  That fear is most definitely real; Europol reports that soccer is the top-targeted sport when it comes to international organized criminal activity.

FIFPro legal director Roy Vermeer pointed out the disciplinary action that players face when they do not report a match-fixing approach. A way must be provided for players to report the interaction without putting themselves, their families, or their careers at risk.

“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,” Vermeer said.

Safeguarding soccer

The app is a complement to FIFA’s existing confidential reporting platforms. The organization already uses BKMS and the FIFA Integrity App. Players are affected every year by match-fixing proposals and with this new option, will hopefully feel more comfortable reporting such incidents.

banned him from soccer for two years, simply because he stayed quiet

On the FIFPro website, player Samir Arab talks about how he was approached to fix a game back in 2016 for €3,000 ($3,553). He was scared and did not report it to authorities. An investigation eventually resulted in Arab being banned from soccer for two years, simply because he stayed quiet.

Arab fully endorses the new app, saying that if he had the use of Red Button, he could have anonymously reported what happened to him. He is now helping to promote the app so other players will not have to go through the same experience he did.

Match-fixing regulation in Sweden

The app by FIFPro is not the only effort this year regarding match-fixing. In May, the Swedish Gambling Authority announced a new regulation proposal for match-fixing. Spelinspektionen presented new regulations that would limit betting markets to the country’s top four soccer divisions.

The regulator feels this change is necessary to avoid corruption. It stated that the lower leagues are more susceptible to influence as the athletes do not make as much money as the higher-level players.