Football gathers for Early Warning System congress
© AFP

The role of ethics in sport is set to come under the spotlight this week as industry experts gather at Zurich’s Letzigrund Stadium on Friday for the Early Warning System congress, 'Sports, Business and Ethics – a Situation Analysis'.

It will be the third congress organised by Early Warning System (EWS), a FIFA subsidiary company tasked with protecting the integrity of sport and minimising the negative impact of sports betting on the tournaments and competitions monitored.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and EWS CEO Urs Scherrer will open the congress before an impressive line-up of speakers present on a wide range of topics relating to ethics in sport.

“We’re looking forward to lively discussions and productive round table sessions on Friday that will hopefully lead to concrete solutions,” says EWS CEO Urs Scherrer.

“It’s not just about the quality of speakers but also the contribution of attendees including sports clubs, government representatives, sponsors and those from the betting industry who will ensure this congress is a success.”

FIFA takes the problem of match-manipulation very seriously and that’s reflected in our commitment to work closely with Interpol and provide cutting-edge training, education and prevention initiatives.
FIFA Head of Security Ralf Mutschke

FIFA Head of Security Ralf Mutschke will address the topic of sports betting along with Michaela Ragg, Interpol Assistant Director Integrity of Sport, using examples of how the two organisations are working together as part of an unprecedented ten-year programme to tackle match-fixing.

“FIFA takes the problem of match-manipulation very seriously and that’s reflected in our commitment to work closely with Interpol and provide cutting-edge training, education and prevention initiatives,” says Mutschke.

“The role of Early Warning System is crucial, not only in monitoring conspicuous odds on the sports betting market, but also in organising these events to bring together various stakeholders and discuss the issues. 

"FIFA can implement certain disciplinary measures within the scope of football, but we also need the full support of government authorities so this congress is another opportunity to put that message across.”

Other speakers include financial expert Oswald Grubel, Wall Street journalist Jens Korte, philosophy professor Peter Sloterdijk, law and ethics professor Mark Pieth, football manager Reiner Calmund as well as star footballer Michael Ballack.

EWS is hosting the event together with “Swiss Sport Forum,” an event forum specialising in sports, economy and law.

EWS itself was originally set up as a pilot project to monitor betting during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ before being formally established in July 2007 as a FIFA subsidiary company.

The company works closely with over 400 betting operators and gaming regulators to protect football matches in all FIFA competitions by monitoring and analysing the complex international sports betting market and through comprehensive reporting to FIFA. Accordingly, there were 800 games monitored in 2011 and another 1,500 in 2012.