Insider Sport’s Year In Review:
May – June

As 2019 comes to a close Insider Sport looks through the year to highlight major news that you might have missed in the sports world. 

This third edition looks at May and June with a specific focus on an interview with the President of Don Best Sports Benjie Cherniak, the evolution of FIFA, the importance of analytics and the promotion of sporting equality. 

Benjie Cherniak, Don Best Sports: Integrity starts with self-policing

Benjie Cherniak, President of Don Best Sports, spoke at the recent Betting on Sports America conference in New Jersey about the challenges that college sports can present, and the role that data sharing can play in identifying integrity issues.

College sports can present a greater challenge in comparison to pro-sports when it comes to upholding integrity, due to the susceptibility to match fixing and corruption. Collaborative efforts between states and operators, according to Cherniak, are needed to effectively identify the most suitable strategies in preventing corruption among players.

He explained: “I think if you compare it to pro-sports and its equivalents, it is more challenging, particularly as it pertains to the player dynamic. In professional sports, you have players who are making significant sums of monies, and such, the likelihood of them engaging in illegal activity relating to match-fixing becomes minimised because they have too much to lose.

“When it comes to integrity, obviously if we share data among operators within a state or even amongst various states and its various operators, the more data that we have within the legislative space, the more that we can share those numbers and what betting trends look like to detect any issues relating to integrity.

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How FIFA has evolved under Gianni Infantino

After the news that FIFA eventually decided against a 48-team World Cup finals for Qatar 2022, many football fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Too much is changing in football these days and it’s changing far too quickly. It seems that none of football’s governing bodies is content with how competitions are structured and just how us supporters enjoy the beautiful game.

After the 2015 FIFA scandal which, among other things, resulted in the removal of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini from office and their banning from all football-related activities for eight years, the organisation underwent wholesale changes.

Gianni Infantino won the FIFA presidency in early 2016, replacing Blatter. Infantino had been involved at UEFA since 2000 in his role as director of legal affairs and general secretary.

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Catapult Sports: Placing a deeper focus on player protection with analytics

Having already partnered with some of the world’s most recognisable sports teams, Catapult Sports continues to build its footprint as a leader in performance analytics.

InsiderSport spoke to Albert Tsai, SVP of Global Elite Products at Catapult Sports, detailing the importance of the group’s partnership with Prevent Biometrics, deepening its commitment to player protection with the development of the world’s first accurate, real-time system for monitoring athletic head impacts.

Tsai stated: “Catapult Sports is the world leader in elite performance analytics. We work with over 2,500 teams around the world, such as Real Madrid, the France National Team, Wales Rugby, the ECB, NHL, and many NFL teams.

“We create technology to help athletes and teams perform to their true potential. Our products are designed to optimise performance, mitigate the risk of injury, and quantify return to play.”

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Benny Bonsu, GiveMeSport: Promoting equality in sport is a social responsibility

With the Women’s World Cup now well underway, the spotlight has shifted towards ensuring that sports associations and leagues are doing everything they can to promote gender equality.

We caught up with Head of Women’s Sport at GiveMeSport, Benny Bonsu, to discuss how the achievements of female athletes can be magnified, the ways in which world cup momentum can be sustained and ways of engaging more with a female fan-base.

Bonsu commented: “What attracted me to the role was that it was something new. When I spoke with Rick Waterlow, GiveMeSport’s CEO, I felt like he really believed in the company and had a passion for it.

“I’ve been in sports for over 15 years and I always believed in broadcasters/publishers that don’t just speak about something, but they believe in making a change.

“I remember going in for my interview and saying that I want to be part of something that changes the landscape and the coverage of sports for women because for so many years it has felt that women almost have to be apologetic for being on screen or having space in a newspaper”

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July – August