IBIA and PFA Canada join forces to provide sports integrity education to the Canadian Premier League


CPL first to benefit from CA$300,000 education fund commitment by regulated sports betting operators.

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and its members bet365, Betway and FanDuel have partnered with the Professional Footballers’ Association Canada (PFA Canada) to design a bespoke two-year sports-integrity education program for players and staff in the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

In 2024, the program – which will start in May – will educate approximately 300 players and staff about the potential threat of sports-betting related match-fixing to the integrity of the Canadian Premier League, their careers, as well as its potential to defraud sports betting operators and customers. The agreement also stipulates a repeat training in 2025 to ensure new players joining the league are also able to protect themselves from criminals and corrupters and report any suspicious activity.

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.”

The program will include a combination of dedicated in-person trainings and online resources for players and staff in the CPL’s eight league teams. The in-person sessions will educate players on the environment in which they are operating, including rules and sanctions, as well as highlighting the scale and accuracy of technology enabled sports integrity monitoring.

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.”

The CPL’s sports-integrity education program has been enabled by a CA$300,000 commitment over three years by IBIA and its member operators bet365, Betway and FanDuel for the Canadian market, from which other sports are also expected to benefit.

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

Joachim Bjerg of Betway stated: “We’re very proud to partner and support IBIA and the Professional Footballers’ Association Canada that will design, create and implement a bespoke course that will further enhance Betway’s global commitment to educating players and staff involved in sport.

“As a responsible regulated betting operator, we see our role in this sector imperative to safeguarding the integrity of sports and we very much look forward to working with IBIA on this exciting and important initiative.”

Jean-Francois Reymond, IBIA’s Education Ambassador, who will work with the PFA Canada trainers on the May launch, said: “We look forward to working with PFA Canada to further protect the Canadian Premier League from the threat of sports-betting related match-fixing. Protecting the integrity of sport means protecting the integrity of athletes. Most often through a lack of awareness, it is the athletes who are risking their careers and livelihoods. IBIA’s objective is to help build a best-in-class program for all athletes that serves to protect the integrity of Canadian sport and the careers of Canada’s athletes.”

IBIA’s sports-integrity education program is a global offering, alongside IBIA’s not-for-profit model for sharing data on suspicious sporting events with sports regulators and law enforcement, player education can significantly reduce the threat of sports betting related match-fixing. In 2024, IBIA has already trained athletes at the EUBC’s European Boxing Championships in Serbia and is in active discussion with sports governing bodies in Canada and several other jurisdictions to ensure that as many athletes as possible can benefit from sports integrity education. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

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