The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has appointed Eduardo Gussem as its Integrity Officer, ahead of the launch of a federally regulated sports betting market.

Gussem will be tasked with leveraging his past experience as a lawyer, during which time he notably served with the State of Rio de Janeiro as Attorney General of Justice and president of the Public Ministry Association, to aid the CBF’s integrity efforts.

The CBF hopes that Gussmen will be able to leverage his experience of control and investigation to its Integrity Unit, supporting integrity functions whilst also ‘respecting diversity and inclusive measures’. 

His responsibilities will also have a multinational remit, involving cooperation with the International Center for Sports Security, the Global Alliance for Sports Integrity as well as a cross border private investigation into criminality in sports.

“The Integrity Unit at CBF is a new and pioneering structure. We aim to bring rigidity and security to football,” Gussem remarked. “Today there are several questions regarding the issue of betting and the manipulation of results. 

“And we will carefully analyse all of this, building quick solutions for the public, fans and the football world. FIFA has already signalled that it will use this Integrity Unit as a pilot for the entire world.”

Safeguarding and protecting the integrity of its competitions has become one of the CBF’s ‘main priorities’ under the presidency of Ednaldo Rodrigues, the governing body stressed – this has taken on heightened impotence against the backdrop of a developing betting sector.

The CBF has been adopting integrity measures in line with those used by regional Americas football authority CONMEBOL and global governing body FIFA to counter sports manipulation in Brazil.

Brazilian legislators are set to vote on the final provisions of the regulatory framework for sports betting tomorrow (29 November). Following this, the Bill will be delivered to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for signature.

The launch of sports betting in Brazil has been a long-running process. Many were hopeful that former President Jair Bolisaro would propose a draft bill to Congress, but the ex-leader did not meet the deadline.

President Lula subsequently introduced a Bill after taking power earlier this year, which has passed through Congress with several amendments made by various committees, including caveats covering sports sponsorship, marketing and advertising and integrity.

“The development of sports betting games, especially online, increases the risks of manipulation of sports competitions,” Rodrigues remarked.

“All countries and all sports are subject to the possibility of manipulation of sports competitions. This phenomenon is a global threat to the integrity of sport and demands a collective global response. 

“An effective fight against the manipulation of sports competitions requires agile, fast, sustainable and effective national and international cooperation, with dialogue and cooperation between public authorities, sports organisations, competition organisers and sports betting operators at national and international level.

Rodrigues added that these stakeholders “are essential in the search for common effective responses to the challenges posed by the problem of manipulating sports competitions. This Integrity Unit will work permanently on these issues”.

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