New ESSA partnership sends ‘forceful message’

New ESSA partnership sends ‘forceful message’

Friday, August 21, 2015 Totally Gaming
England Hockey latest to sign up with sports betting integrity association

England Hockey’s new partnership with sports betting integrity association ESSA sends a “clear and forceful message” against corrupt activities, according to the sporting body’s CEO, Sally Munday.

ESSA will work with England Hockey to educate players and officials on the issues around betting, marking the latest in a long line of ‘integrity’ partnerships agreed by sporting bodies over recent months. As reported by yesterday (Thursday), Perform Group linked up with football’s global governing body Fifa in a similar partnership.

The ESSA-England Hockey agreement was announced ahead of the start of the EuroHockey Championships in the UK today, with the event carrying Unibet as the title sponsor.

Despite acknowledging that the risk to England Hockey and its tournaments is minimal, Munday insisted that any steps to prevent corruption in the sport should be welcomed.

“The risk to the Unibet EuroHockey Championships and to hockey in general is low, but it is nevertheless important that we have suitable preventative measures in place,” Munday said.

“This arrangement provides us with access to essential data from ESSA’s responsible regulated betting operators to identify and punish any corrupt activity. It sends a very clear and forceful message.”

ESSA, which funds education programmes and publishes regular integrity statistics covering its members’ regulated betting markets, holds positions on working groups at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee.

ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali added: “This is a positive and forward thinking move by England Hockey and we welcome the opportunity to expand our integrity network to include hockey.

“Whilst we have not seen any suspicious betting activity to concern fans of the sport, it is nevertheless important that suitable measures are put in place to deter corrupters.”

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