Doha, Qatar; 3rd February 2015:
As snooker experiences record commercial growth and continue its drive to reach out to new markets, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) – the international governing body for professional snooker – has announced it has renewed its global partnership with the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) to help safeguard the integrity of the sport.
First announced at the 2013 Indian Open in New Delhi, the global integrity partnership between the WPBSA and ICSS will continue working to protect the integrity of professional snooker by delivering a range innovative new programmes and initiatives as the sport seeks inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In particular, the ICSS will work closely with the WPBSA to provide integrity awareness training, including seminars and advice to tour players, coaches, officials and administrators, as well as supporting the WPBSA on intelligence issues concerning match fixing.
As part of the extension, the ICSS will also continue to support throughout the 2014-2015 season by overseeing the WPBA’s betting monitoring programme, ensuring that snooker’s world governing body is immediately notified about any suspicious gambling behavior or patterns during a match.
Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA, said: ”On behalf of the WPBSA, I am delighted to have renewed our partnership with the ICSS, who are one of the world’s leading experts in the area of sport integrity.
”Extending this partnership with the ICSS demonstrates the WPBSA’s strong and ongoing commitment to safeguarding the sport of snooker and represents another important step in the WPBSA’s integrity strategy.
”I look forward to working closely with the ICSS’s team of sport integrity experts and Sportradar to ensure that snooker continues to take a strong and proactive stance in safeguarding its integrity.
Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said: ”On behalf of the ICSS, I would like to thank the WPBSA for extending their partnership with the ICSS and would like to applaud them for their continued commitment and leadership in ensuring the highest levels of integrity in snooker.
”Whilst many acknowledge the challenges faced in safeguarding sport, the WPBSA are one of the leading governing bodies in the area of sport integrity and continue to take proactive steps to protect snooker against the very real and emerging threats that are challenging all sport today.
”Continuing to support the WPBSA in advancing their integrity capability is important for the ICSS and I hope that many more organisations in sport will follow the WPBSA’s lead in this area.
Chris Eaton, Executive Director of Sport Integrity at the ICSS, said: ”Extending our partnership with the WPBSA demonstrates that the integrity of snooker is of the utmost priority for the WPBSA as it continues its efforts to reach out to new markets and expand snooker globally.
”It is crucial that sport governing bodies show serious and proactive leadership in this area of competition protection from corruption and introduce clear and transparent measures to protect its tournaments and its players, referees and administrators.
“Together with the entire ICSS Sport Integrity team, I am delighted to work once again with Jason Ferguson, Nigel Mawer and the WPBSA team and look forward to developing new and innovative programmes that will further enhance the WPBSA’s position as a leader in the area of sport integrity.