Press Releases OPAP

OPAP organizes seminar on the fight of the phenomenon of match-fixing

Having full awareness of the risks connected with the match-fixing phenomenon, the OPAP, in cooperation with the french Institute of International and Strategic Relations – IRIS, organized on Tuesday, 6th of May a workshop titled: "What national networks in the E.U to fight against match-fixing?". The seminar  was organized in the context of a european programme, supported by the European Committee and the European Lotteries.

Through the organization of private seminars in 22 member states of the European Union, the programme objective is raising awareness and informing national and sports authorities, concerning the phenomenon of match-fixing, the identification of best practices concerning the coordinated fight of the phenomenon at national level, as well as the promotion of dialogue for the purpose of further cooperation among national and sports authorities.  

The seminar was attended by over 35 participants, representing sports and national authorities, such as the Police, the Prosecutor's Office and of course OPAP. The seminar was opened by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPAP, Mr. Kamil Ziegler, referring to the long history of OPAP as greek sport supporter, and the need for effective cooperation among the competent authorities for the fight of the phenomenon. The seminar was attended by the Secretary General for Sports, Mrs Kyriaki Giannakidou and the Chairman of Hellenic Olympic Committee, Mr Spyros Capralos, who both delivered welcome addresses and highlighted the importance of the seminar.  

The international speakers, referred to the extent that the phenomenon is spread, placing importance on the fact that the organized crime is pervading in sport and underlies the phenomenon. As they highlighted, all countries and all sports may be affected. They set forth examples regarding the manner of approach of organized crime towards athletes, and they placed importance on the need for training and education of athletes. In addition they referred to the risks that illegal betting poses, as well as the need of explicit penal and disciplinary sanctions existence, and mostly of the need for coordination and cooperation both at international and national level.   

The Deputy Prosecutor, Mrs Virginia Sakellaropoulou, made a short presentation, introducing the relevant legal framework, while the Chairman of Transparency International-Greece Mr. Costantinos Bakouris, the Integrity Officer of Hellenic Football Federation, Mr. Ioannis Ntzoufras, as well as the Director of Professional Volleyball Players' Association, Mr. Vasilis Minoudis, made short presentations associated to the relevant educational programmes, developed by their organizations.

Mr Ioannis Ntzoufras representing the Hellenic Football Federation, Mr Costantinos Bakouris representing the Transparency International-Greece, Mr. George Chalyvopoulos representing Greek Police, Mr. Tryfonas  Zacharopoulos representing General Secretariat of Sports, Mr.  Christos Pertsoulakis, representing OPAP and Mr. George Borovilos representing Superleague-Greece, participated to the round table discussion. The participants agreed that there is overriding need for cooperation among all interested stakeholders, as well as need for further training of athletes. There were also suggested specific ideas towards this direction.

The international speakers informed that like in all national seminars, will be prepared a report concerning the greek seminar, that will be sent to the European Committee. The report will include the proposals of the round table participants. In addition, all seminar participants, wil be invited to the final seminar of the european programme, that will be organized in June, in Brussels. The seminar was closed with a short presentation by the Chairman and Chief Executive officer of OPAP, Mr Kamil Ziegler, who stated that OPAP, will always be supporting the transparent sport and the initiatives in the sports integrity sector.  

All participants expressed thanks to OPAP for the initiative to organize this seminar. It was the first time, that such an event was organized in Greece, that provided all stakeholders with the opportunity to inform themselves concerning the phenomenon, and make dialogue aiming to further cooperation for more effective treatment of the phenomenon.

OPAP would like to thank all participants of the seminar, with the hope for this to be the beginning of a constructive dialogue and one creative and effective cooperation for the severe treatment of the new modern plague in sport: the match-fixing.