ICSS embarks match-fixing prevention workshops

Dar es Salaam/Mwanza, July 15, 2014: ICSS embarks, The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) this week delivered the first in a series of match-fixing education and prevention workshops to young players in Africa.

As part of the ICSS’s commitment to educate young players about the dangers of match-fixing, Stuart Page, ICSS Director, Strategy and Policy Development (Anti-Corruption/Transparency) and Jake Marsh, Investigator at the ICSS, led a three-day programme that included delivering match-fixing and integrity workshops to young players and officials at leading Tanzanian organisations, including the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF), Symbion /Sunderland AFC Project – Africa’s first privately-owned football academy – and the Tanzania Street Children’s Sports Academy.

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Aimed at educating 12-18 year old players playing at an academy level as well as children in more vulnerable areas in Tanzania, the programme kicked-off with a presentation to the Tanzania Under-17 Squad at the Karume National Stadium. Rising football stars from the Symbion Football Academy – a joint academy and football development project between Symbion Power, Sunderland AFC and the Tanzanian Government – attended the seminars alongside leading officials and coaches from the TFF including Salam Madadi, Technical Director, TFF, and Stewart Hall, Technical Director, Symbion / Sunderland AFC Project and Technical Advisor to the TFF.

Players attending the seminars learnt about a range of topics, including how match-fixers approach and groom young players, methods to help recognise, resist and report an approach, as well as being warned about the very serious and real consequences of match-fixing.

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Stuart Page of the ICSS said: “Education and prevention is central to the ICSS’s work to eradicate match-fixing and the athlete is at the very heart of this strategy. As the ICSS deliver the first in a series of match-fixing workshops in Africa, over the last three days we have visited several organisations that are central to shaping the lives of young people in Tanzania.

“Targeting young players, especially those in Africa which has had many match-fixing cases emerge over the last few years, will help more players in the future recognise, resist and report approaches by match-fixers.

“During our visit, we have been overwhelmed by the response of the players and coaches that have been part of this programme to warn young people about match-fixing. Their enthusiasm and understanding about the importance of their role in tackling this issue will hopefully encourage more clubs, federations and associations to deliver programmes like the one seen in Tanzania this week.”

Speaking to players at the seminar, Salam Madadi said: “Match-fixing is one of the most serious issues now facing African football and I am delighted to welcome the ICSS here for the first time. The TFF is serious about addressing match-fixing and educating our young academy players is central to our approach to tackling this problem. Today’s workshop with the ICSS provided some of Tanzania’s rising football stars with many important lessons and I look forward to welcoming back the ICSS Sport Integrity team in the future.”

Stewart Hall, Technical Director, Symbion / Sunderland AFC Project and Technical Advisor to the TFF said: “Developing and educating young players is absolutely crucial to the future of any sport, not just football. For far too long, match-fixing has been under the radar and I hope that through workshops like this, young players around Africa will be able to learn about how to respond to an approach by a suspected match-fixer. Through this programme, developed between the ICSS and the Symbion / Sunderland AFC Project, I hope that Tanzania will be able to produce young players and coaches that believe in maintaining the highest possible standards and integrity both on and off the pitch.”

Alongside the programmes’ objective to reach out to more vulnerable players as well as future professionals, the ICSS team also presented to theTanzania Street Children’s (TSC) Sports Academy. Recently crowned the 2014 Street Child World Champions, the TSC Sports Academy invited the ICSS to deliver a match-fixing prevention seminar to street children and vulnerable young people from around the Mwanza region to educate and warn about how match-fixers approach and groom young players.

Altaf Hirani, President of the Tanzanian Street Children’s Sports Academy, said: “As part of the TSC Academy’s role in developing street kids around Tanzania, the ICSS Sport Integrity team has delivered an important lesson to many of our children about the dangers of match-fixing. By working with recognised experts like the ICSS, the TSC Academy will be able to provide children across Tanzania with an important opportunity to learn about how criminals target young people and the communities they live in, as well as what to do when put in that situation.”

About Symbion Power

Symbion Power is an American company in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution industry with operations throughout Africa. Symbion builds, owns and operates electrical power infrastructure. Our power plants supply electricity to some of the world’s most critically underserved regions. Symbion also undertakes Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) work in the electricity supply sector and has worked on large-scale generation, transmission, and distribution projects in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With a deep commitment to empowering local communities Symbion brings together the knowledge and operational know-how to succeed in the world’s most challenging environments. Symbion Power is based in Washington DC, USA.

About the Tanzanian Street Children’s Sports Academy

The Tanzania Street Children’s (TSC) Sports Academy Mwanza is a community focused programme that supports local players and football development, and aims to give players the skills and training through football to stay off the street.

The TSC Sports Academy aims to give the opportunity to street, vulnerable and other local players to play in the same team and be recognised as football players, also giving players the opportunity to support each other as part of their team.

TSC currently trains around 1 25 children with teams for boys and girls ranging from Under 12’s up to Under 20’s.

TSC also support and campaign for street children’s rights and a change in perception for street children through messages on shirts, awareness raising events and through high profile campaigns (such as the Street Child World Cup) and longer term projects (Street Skillz). —- By: Will Shand/ICSS

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