On November 6, 2020, the EPOSM project (“Evidence-based Prevention Of Sporting-related Match-fixing”) successfully ended its data collection. During a period of approximately six months, an online questionnaire on match-fixing has been conducted in seven European countries (i.e., Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and United Kingdom).
Unlike other research projects on match-fixing, which mainly focus on betting-related match-fixing, the EPOSM project particularly examines sporting-related (i.e., non-betting-related) match-fixing. Examples of this type of match-fixing involve circumventing relegation by making agreements with the opposite team or athlete, losing a match to avoid meeting certain competitors or teammates in the next round of a tournament, or enabling another team to win the championship. Although often neglected, sporting-related match-fixing heavily endangers the attractiveness and popularity of sport, while also jeopardizing sport’s key value of fair play.Despite issues caused by Covid-19, more than 14.000 people found their way to the questionnaire, and 5014 of them completed the questionnaire! Moreover, as the EPOSM project focuses on three sport disciplines per country, the questionnaire reached respondents from various sport disciplines (58,9% football; 14,9% tennis; 5,2% basketball; 10,9% hockey; 3,4% handball; 2,5% cricket; 4.2% other sport disciplines). As such, this is one of the largest questionnaires ever conducted on this topic in several European countries!The goal of the EPOSM study is to enable a very rich and nuanced view on (sporting-related) match-fixing in different sports and cultures. Next to the prevalence of sporting-related match-fixing, the project aims to gain insights into (1) the characteristics of people who have been confronted with match-fixing, (2) moral and social psychological variables which could explain the process and attitude towards match-fixing, and (3) the current preventive approach against match-fixing in sport clubs.Additionally, the study results will be used to develop country specific action plans and workshops against match-fixing. In this way, the EPOSM project aims to (1) raise awareness about the prevalence of sporting-related match-fixing, (2) stimulate moral judgment regarding sporting-related match-fixing, and (3) share and transfer this knowledge.
The EPOSM project is an Erasmus+ Collaborative partnership in the field of sport, co-funded by the European Union, between academic and on-the-field organizations. It started in January 2020 and will run for two years. The project team consists of: Ghent University (coordinating organisation), Utrecht University, The French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), Play Fair Code, Croatian Olympic Committee, Lausanne University, Loughborough University, Panathlon International, International Centre Ethics in Sport (ICES), Counter Sport Corruption Foundation for Sport Integrity (CSCF), and the Council of Europe (associated partner organisation).Throughout the project, the results will be disseminated through various channels, and at the end of the project, there will be an international multiplier event.
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