PFA Canada and IBIA start two-year CPL integrity education programme
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The Professional Footballers’ Association Canada (PFA Canada) is working on a sports integrity programme with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

Working with the IBIA’s operator members, PFA Canada will develop the programme for players and staff in the Canadian Premier League (CPL). The two-year programme will start in May with the aim of educating around 300 people.

The main focus of the initiative will be to provide education around the threat sports-betting related match-fixing poses to the CPL. This will cover the risks to player’s careers and the potential for betting operators and customers to be defrauded.

Dan Kruk, Executive Director of PFA Canada, said: “IBIA has delivered sports-integrity education to over thirty-five thousand athletes in Europe since 2010, and we’re grateful that they can leverage that know-how to design a bespoke training for CPL players. 

“At PFA Canada we understand that, despite being more resource-intensive, in-person sports integrity education is essential to gain the trust and understanding of busy athletes, and to enable full, frank and open conversations.”

Training will be repeated in 2025 to ensure new players joining the league are also aware of the risks of match-fixing and can protect themselves from threats. Training will include in-person sessions and online resources, delivered across the CPL’s eight leagues.

In-person sessions will focus on the environment in which players are competing. Sessions will cover rules and sanctions and the scale and accuracy of technology-backed sports integrity monitoring.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “IBIA’s members take their role – as responsible regulated betting operators – in protecting the integrity of sporting competition and of betting markets seriously. 

“Alongside balanced, efficient and evidenced-based regulation, protecting soccer players, staff and officials from being targeted by criminals is an essential first step to stamping-out sports-betting related match-fixing and fraud.”

Ontario is the only province in Canada with a regulated, multi-licence betting market, launched in April 2022. In the remaining markets, gambling is provided by a state-backed institution, like the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), for example.

As the most liberal market – home to operators such as FanDuel, Betway and bet365, which are all participating in the CPL education programme – Ontario has become a key area of focus for the IBIA’s North American activity, as detailed in its latest report.

Dale Hooper, General Manager of FanDuel Canada, said: “At FanDuel Canada, we recognise the critical role athlete education plays in maintaining sports integrity.

“We are thrilled to expand our engagement with IBIA through this new partnership helping to build a curriculum that will help athletes understand their role in protecting sport.”

Ontario’s efforts to protect sports integrity have been covered extensively by Insider Sport lately. Doug Hood, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)’s Project Director – Gaming Modernisation, explained how the regulator works with sports and integrity organisations in a two part Q&A. Read part one HERE and part two HERE.

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