Sportradar and World Rugby unveil Rugby World Cup initiative

World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union, and sports and betting-related services company Sportradar have announced details of a new initiative designed to combat the threat of corruption at this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The tournament in England, which starts this (Friday) evening and will run until October 31, will feature national teams from around the world.

As part of an effort to stamp out corruption at the competition, World Rugby and Sportradar have launched an initiative, under which all players and team officials at the event will sign up to an anti-corruption and betting education programme.

Players and staff will be warned about the potential consequences of corruption or betting on matches, such as being banned from rugby or imprisonment.

In addition, World Rugby has contracted Sportradar to monitor any suspicious betting patterns during matches.

World Rugby has also signed integrity memorandums of understanding with leading gambling operators, which will enable it to access databases of betting information held by those bodies.

Brett Gosper, chief executive of World Rugby, said: “Corruption is a big issue in sport and we have seen how some sports’ reputations have been damaged by incidents of match-fixing and other breaches of anti-corruption rules.

“While there is no evidence that a problem exists in rugby, we would be naïve to think it could not happen and it would be irresponsible not to implement appropriate measures to guard against it. Rugby is now part of the Olympic family and anti-corruption considerations are an integral part of the Olympic Charter.

“So, we have a wider responsibility to the global sports family to uphold the principles of fair play and integrity in every aspect of the tournament. Anti-corruption is a crucial part of that.”

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