Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

FIFA Promotes App to Anonymously Disclose Match-fixing Attempts; Premier League Jerseys Will No Longer Display ‘Black Lives Matter’ and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): FIFA reveals app for players to report match-fixing approaches | Black Lives Matter will no longer feature on Premier League jerseys | Lionel Messi criticism taken on board by FC Barcelona, says club vice-president | Romelu Lukaku slams EA over FIFA 21 ratings | Premier League writes to the government over moves to 'restrict and potentially delay' return of fans.
FIFpro and FIFA app to report match fixing

As part of the collaboration agreement, the investigation of confidential information submitted through the app owned by FIFPro will be carried out by FIFA.

To tackle match fixing in the sport FIFA has joined hands with FIFPro to promote a smartphone app that allows professional players to report match-fixing approaches in anonymity. 

The World players’ union FIFPro , who produced the app, said in a statement that the whistleblower app — called ‘Red Button —  protects the identity of players to eliminate the fear of losing their career or personal safety. 

"We are confident this will strengthen the hand of football and public authorities in the fight against match-fixing,” FIFPro legal director Roy Vermeer said “With players facing disciplinary action for failing to report a match-fixing approach, there must be a way for them to do this without fear that they are putting themselves, their families and their careers in danger.”

Also Read | Pause and Effect: Indian Super League Has a Calendar Problem

“The Red Button app provides this facility and will help players manage this considerable risk that, through no fault of their own, might confront them at any time,” he added. 

As part of the collaboration agreement, the investigation of confidential information submitted through the union-owned app will be carried out by FIFA and no trace of a report will be left on their smartphones, the announcement added.

‘No Room for Racism’ 

Premier League players  will not feature the ‘Black Lives Matters’ logo on their jerseys anymore, starting from the games on the weekend to kick off the new season. The shirts will instead display the league’s own anti-racism campaign ‘No Room For Racism’. 

Also Read | Race, Gender and Ethics: Caster Semenya’s Fight Had Insurmountable Odds

"This is the first time the badge will feature on players' and officials' kit throughout the season, and will act as a constant reminder of the commitment by the Premier League, its clubs, players and PGMOL to eradicate racism," the league said in a statement that came after discussions between senior club officials and club captains.

The Black Lives Matter logo was included in kits following the global protest against racism triggered by the death of George Flyod, an unarmed black man, killed by a white police officer in Minnesota in May. 

"We, our clubs, players and match officials have a long-standing commitment to tackling discrimination,” the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Masters said.  "Players rightly have a strong voice on this matter, which we saw last season. We have continued to talk and listen to players on this issue and will support them as well as continuing to emphasise the Premier League's position against racism.”

"Discrimination in any form, anywhere, is wholly unacceptable and No Room for Racism makes our zero-tolerance stance clear," he added. Teams will take a knee before kickoff, as they have over the past few months.

Messi’s Criticism Taken by Barca

Barcelona Vice President , Pau Vilanova said the club has taken Messi’s criticism into consideration and have begun a “fresh and exciting project”. This is the first time the board have addressed issues raised by Messi regarding the board and the way the club was being run in an interview with Goal last week. In the interview Messi said that he was forced to stay because he did not want to enter a legal dispute with the club.  

"We are very happy that Messi is with us and has joined this exciting project," Vilanova  said. "You have to take his words into consideration and for this reason we are starting a recovery, for this reason we are beginning a new, fresh and exciting project."

"In any profession, we've all had doubts about our situation and then, after some reflection, we have decided to continue or to leave," said Vilanova. "In this case he will continue and he will be motivated."

Lukaku Slams EA Sports

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku took to Twitter to express his disappointment at his — and other — players’ ratings on the new version of the popular FIFA franchise, FIFA 21. Lukaku, called the  ratings a publicity stunt. The Belgian’s overall rating in the game is 85, disappointing and surprisingly low for a player who scored 34 goals last season. Lukaku is far from the only player who has been surprised — sometimes with hilarious responses — by the ratings. 

Lukaku tweeted: "Let’s be honest FIFA just mess with the ratings so we players start complaining about the game and give them more publicity... I ain’t with this sh*t. I know what I do."

In 2018 also he had called out EA Sports for underestimating his game, saying: "I want an upgrade on my acceleration on FIFA... the pace is good but acceleration 70 something…” He ended that sentence with the facepalm emoji.

Premier League on Return of Fans 

The Premier League has written to the British government expressing concerns on “decisions taken to restrict and potentially delay" the return of fans to stadiums. 

On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said initial plans to allow spectators to events in England from October 1 is under review because of a rise in coronavirus cases.

Pilot events in September will only allow 1,000 fans, but the Premier League says unless more fans can attend, it will not have the test event.

In a statement the Premier League said that a 1,000-person cap will "not provide any opportunity to properly test and evaluate measures designed to maximise fan safety. At 1,000 supporters, not only would there be little to learn from a test event, but each match would be heavily loss-making.”

The statement also highlighted the losses clubs will face playing in front of empty stadiums. "For each month of the season without fans, more than £100 million is lost to football across the leagues, with consequent damage to the local and national economy. It also harms the employment prospects of more than 100,000 people whose jobs depend on matchday activities."

Read more sports stories from Newsclick

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram