No suspicion of match manipulation at FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™
FIFA, alongside key integrity stakeholders, involved in Integrity Task Force for tournament
Betting turnover an estimated 14 times higher at France 2019 than Canada 2015
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force, which was specifically set up to monitor the competition and support FIFA in addressing any integrity-related concerns, recently concluded its successful work in connection with the 2019 edition of the tournament.
As part of its commitment to proactively safeguarding football’s integrity, FIFA joined forces with key integrity stakeholders – including the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen (GoC), and particularly the French National Platform; Sportradar; the Global Lottery Monitoring System; and INTERPOL, amongst others – to monitor any suspicious activity potentially affecting the integrity of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. In addition, several preventative measures were put in place before the start of the tournament.
As an important step before the tournament kicked off, FIFA – together with the six confederations – organised several Regional Integrity Workshops in order to proactively educate and share best practice with the 24 participating member associations (PMAs) to prevent any situations that might affect the integrity of the competition. These Regional Integrity Workshops took place in Egypt, USA and Spain.
The integrity officers of all 24 PMAs also subsequently held integrity briefings with their respective national teams and delegations. Furthermore, similar to the measures implemented at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, FIFA also delivered integrity briefings to the appointed referees before the competition.
During the competition, FIFA – with the support of the other Integrity Task Force members – analysed both the betting markets and in-game action during every match for integrity purposes. No suspicion of match manipulation was found around any game that took place during the tournament.
Additionally, the total betting turnover during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was found to be an estimated 14 times higher than at Canada 2015, with the high quality of football and the soaring media and public interest throughout the tournament being the main drivers of the increased betting activity during the event.
Vincent Ven, FIFA’s Head of Integrity, said: “Protecting the integrity of football and FIFA competitions is paramount to FIFA. In line with this commitment, the wide-ranging integrity programme that FIFA delivered in the lead-up to and during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 played an important role in protecting the competition. It involved a range of national and international stakeholders, as well as referees and players, coaches and officials from the 24 participating teams.”
During the tournament, FIFA also took part in the eighth meeting of the GoC, the Network of National Platforms for Combating Sports Manipulation. The meeting was opened by the Mayor of Rennes, Nathalie Appér��; the French Minister of Sports, Roxana Mărăcineanu; the Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe, Snežana Samardžić-Marković; and the FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura.
This high-level opening session, jointly organised with the Council of Europe and FIFA, was attended by approximately 60 participants, including representatives from GoC member countries, the French government, the Council of Europe and FIFA.
Against the background of the Macolin Convention entering into force on 1 September 2019, the objective of this high-level session was to address political and strategic requirements, as well as challenges and opportunities facing the National Platforms. During the meeting, all participants highlighted the importance of close cooperation between key national and international stakeholders to fight efficiently against the manipulation of sports competitions.
Moreover, the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Integrity Task Force was held up as a positive example of joint action. This task force came about as a direct result of the collaboration between the Council of Europe and FIFA, developed within the framework of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two organisations in October 2018.
Ven concluded: “As part of the steps taken, education, monitoring and sharing best practice all played an important role in the integrity programme delivered around the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. These principles are key to proactively ensuring that any potentially suspicious activity or attempt to manipulate a match is detected and averted and that any appropriate steps can be taken by FIFA and the relevant authorities.
“In particular, the establishment and operations of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force were a great success and, on behalf of FIFA, I would like to warmly thank all the stakeholders who strongly supported us in our mission. This positive collaboration between many different organisations will be taken as a valuable example for future competitions.
“Going forward, FIFA will look to build on the collaboration and integrity programme delivered for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 for future FIFA tournaments. We will also look to continue our work with confederations, member associations and all the other integrity stakeholders to share best practice and protect competitions taking place in the future.”