On 5th of March, 2019, Mr. Maksim Chernov, President of the National Floorball Federation of Russia (NFFR), informed IFF that that the Russian Team management had observed some irregular and illogical performance of the players during the match between France and Russia at the U19 WFC qualifications held in September 2018. The match ended 10-1 to Russia.
The NFFR informed IFF that it suspected the players were betting in contravention of IFF Rules and further, that several players admitted to doing so. Following an investigation, the NFFR suspended the players who admitted their involvement, until the 1st of June 2019. The players will not be able to participate at either the Russian Championships or the U19 WFC in Halifax, Canada in May 2019. The investigation in Russia involving the respective betting companies and the Ministry of Sport is ongoing.
After receiving the information, the IFF informed the IFF Ethics Commission (ETC).
The IFF is concerned that NFFR did not immediately inform IFF after receiving information about the illegal activity, as there were IFF officials running the event. Nevertheless, the IFF is satisfied that the NFFR has taken direct action in the case and that further investigation is ongoing. In light of the information provided by NFFR, the fact that the affected players have been suspended, and that Russia did not deliberately lose the match, it is not necessary for the IFF to take any action at this time. The IFF expects to be kept informed of the ongoing investigation and its outcome.
The IFF uses this occasion to stress that it provides information regarding the prohibition of sports betting and match manipulation during the Captains and Technical meeting prior to the first match:
1. Those with a possibility to influence the outcome of a match may not, self or via other person, bet on the outcome of a match. This means that i.e. players, officials, secretariat, and board members may not bet on a match where the own Team participates. Further their team delegates are responsible for any untrue action, or attitude aimed at altering documents, or the performance of the participating team members, or influencing or agreeing of the result of a match or competition, or the scoring or any other individual appearance at any point of a match to the advantage of its own team, opponent or any third party.
The IFF Competition Regulation, National Teams, Edition 2019 defines the rules in regards of betting on Matches in Floorball. The IFF will use this case to illustrate the importance of prohibiting betting on matches for coming Events.