The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has officially joined the SIGMA service for the global investigation of betting markets. It has done so through an agreement with the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling - dependent on the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030 -, which was signed today at the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas by Pedro Rocha (president of the RFEF Management Committee) and Mikel Arana (director general for the Regulation of Gambling).
Through this agreement, the RFEF takes a further step in its work to prevent and detect any fraudulent practices related to illegal sports betting by formally joining SIGMA. This service is an interactive cooperation network, in which its participants exchange information to fight against fraud in the sports betting market, preventing manipulation in these types of competitions.
Pedro Rocha stated that football, as "the example for society that it is", must fight against everything that distorts the competition and its sporting spirit. "To be a true example, we must ensure equal opportunities, the safety and protection of all those who play the game and, of course, its cleanliness," said the president of the RFEF's Management Committee. "Working against illegal sports betting means protecting our football and taking care of its cleanliness", he insisted, before affirming that, with the agreement signed, the RFEF is committed to "continue to provide transparency and to collaborate with the relevant institutions and security forces".
Mikel Arana, for his part, thanked the RFEF for its commitment to clean betting, and emphasised "the importance of the football world representing the true values of sport". Arana reiterated "the firm will of the DGOJ to continue its work in the prosecution of illegal rigging of sports events", and its intention to "incorporate new players into the global betting market investigation service to improve its efficiency and strength".
In addition to Pedro Rocha and Mikel Arana, the event was attended by various officials from the RFEF - such as Felipe Sánchez-Pedreño, Director of Integrity - and from the Directorate General - such as the Deputy Director General of Gambling Regulation, Eugenio Álvarez Fernández; or the Deputy Director General of Gambling Inspection, Cecilia Pastor Pons -. All of them agreed that the signing of this agreement places the RFEF as a standard setter for management and inter-institutional collaboration to achieve a higher quality football free of any suspicion.
How SIGMA works
SIGMA is a service managed by the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling and is accessible digitally for participants who are members of the same group. Under the agreement, the RFEF will provide its data so that the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling can fight against corruption linked to the manipulation of sports competitions and fraud through sports betting. These activities, as stated in the agreement signed today, "undermine the interests of participants and operators in this sector, and constitute one of the greatest threats to sport".
The federation will submit the required information, both on irregular and suspicious sports betting when it becomes aware of any practice that could be fraudulent in nature.
An example of data that the RFEF may provide to SIGMA is that relating to the possession of licences of any kind (players, coaches, etc.) of a person suspected of having carried out any fraudulent or suspicious activity related to sports betting. In addition to facilitating the work of other bodies, such as the police or the judiciary, the coordination that will be achieved with SIGMA will also favour the application of the consequent disciplinary measures.