News 7th January 2016

Canadian soccer plans action to curb match-fixing threat

The Canadian Soccer League (CSL) has outlined a plan of action which it hopes will curb the threat of match-fixing, after a leaked report from the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) implicated that up to 60 CSL games were fixed by European crime gangs. It plans to assign ‘match observers’ to all games played in 2016, and is considering an agreement with an organisation that monitors betting data from sporting leagues such as the CSL. Organisations such as ESSA and Sportradar currently offer this service to other sporting leagues.

However, the CSL also suggested that European betting operators need to shoulder some responsibility by not accepting bets on Canadian soccer, as it could be considered unfair to ask the CSL and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) to police against match-fixing instigated overseas. ‘Vincent Ursini, the CSL President, has expressed a hope that the betting companies in Europe will cease listing CSL games in their betting profile’, read a CSL statement. ‘Betting on CSL games is not available from Canadian betting interests, such as the OLG [Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation] in Ontario’.

The CSL said that despite discussions with the CSA and FIFA, no remedial steps have been put in place by Canadian soccer’s governing bodies, other than the suggestion of organising workshops and seminars. “Unfortunately, it’s a subject which can unfairly put a shadow over an entire league”, said CSL Media & Administration Manager Stan Adamson. “When match manipulation is going on it can be unknown to a team’s management, let alone the clubs in general or the league administration”.

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