World Rugby is again operating a comprehensive, education focused integrity programme to ‘Keep Rugby Onside’ at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
With less than a month before Japan 2019’s opener in Tokyo, teams, coaches and referees will all complete a mandatory anti-corruption and betting education programme.
Rugby is a sport based on its character-building values and integrity is a core one of them, shared by millions of participants worldwide.
While rugby does not have a history of match-fixing issues, the international federation strongly believes in educating teams, coaches and match officials about the risks of gambling and corruption to ensure rugby’s integrity continues to be well protected.
With the expansion of betting markets across all sports globally and unprecedented public interest in Rugby World Cup 2019, the ‘Keep Rugby Onside’ programme provides players, team officials and others involved in the tournament with the tools and education to ensure they are not at risk of any integrity related issues.
An updated dedicated online training programme, co-funded by the European Commission and soon to be available in 13 languages, is mandatory for all teams to complete before arriving at the tournament. The training will be complimented by a face-to-face briefing by a World Rugby Integrity Officer in the team’s native language once they have landed in Japan.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “While rugby prides itself on the strength of its values, it is imperative that we do not become complacent by thinking that rugby could not be exposed to match-fixing and other breaches of anti-corruption and betting rules. It is our responsibility to ensure fair-play and integrity are respected in every aspect of the tournament and our integrity programme is instrumental in that role, ensuring players, team staff and all others involved in the tournament are fully educated in this important area.”
Along with education efforts, World Rugby operates a sophisticated integrity framework, which includes global monitoring of betting activities, strong communication links with local and international authorities and the expansion of its Integrity Unit.
Five multilingual Integrity Officers with significant experience in rugby as well as other relevant sports and events such as cricket, horse racing, football, badminton and the Olympic Games will strengthen the existing World Rugby Integrity Unit on the ground to support teams and officials in Japan.
World Rugby will rely on close collaboration with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), Japanese Police and Interpol as well as its existing partnership with Sportradar and the IOC’s IBIS platform to monitor and flag any suspicious betting-related activities around the tournament.
To find out more about Keep Rugby Onside, please visit integrity.worldrugby.org.