Preserving Integrity in Sport

Preserving Integrity in Sport

This week sports ministers and sports experts from 130 countries around the globe met to discuss the state of sports, under the auspices of UNESCO in Berlin. Known as MINEPS V, the conference is focussing on access to sports for all, investment in sports as well as in major events and integrity in sports, particularly match-fixing.

The MINEPS V declaration, published on Thursday 30 May, highlights the key issues integral to keeping corruption out of sport: good governance in sports organisations, transparency and accountability in the awarding and managing of major sporting events, and international cooperation in investigations and education to prevent match-fixing.

The final declaration also specifically mentions the importance and positive contributions of volunteers and civil society to sport, and the need for communication and cooperation between governments and law enforcement in the fight against doping , corruption in sport and manipulation of sport competitions.

“The MINEPS V conference is taking an important step by including anti-corruption, good governance and match-fixing as key priorities. To have representatives from so many countries here focussing on these issues can lead to change. Now we need to have action. Transparency International is ready to support this with our chapters around the world.”

- Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor for sport, Transparency International

Civil society has a significant role to play in helping to ensure that the declaration made in Berlin is acted upon by the sports ministers when they return to their home countries.

Transparency International brings its 20 years of experience in anti-corruption to support work in all these areas.  Transparency International will also be publishing its Global Corruption Report on Corruption in Sport in 2014.

Good governance at sporting bodies

No sport appears immune to corruption. Sport has been hit by a series of scandals, ranging from bribery and corruption inside sports bodies to on field match-fixing from handball and cricket to football. In the past two years Transparency International has submitted proposals for governance reforms to FIFA, football’s world governing body and the International Cricket Council.

Staying on Side

Everyone recognises that match-fixing is a great danger to the future of all sports.  It is the uncertainty of outcome that makes games exciting; if people think most matches and events are fixed they will lose interest. This would be bad for both sport and society. Besides offering great entertainment, sport can help teach some of life’s most important lessons, especially to young people – but only if it is true to the core values of fair play.

Transparency International Deutschland has been partnering with the German Football Leagues to develop an education programme designed to help everyone involved in the game understand and prevent match-fixing.  Building on this experience, the Secretariat of Transparency International, with the German Football League and the Association of European Football Leagues, is now working to develop a pilot prevention and education programme.

Called Staying on Side, the aim of the project is to develop materials that can be used by the football leagues across Europe to address all target groups including young players, professionals, and match officials. The project is part of an European Commission initiative to fund projects that raise awareness about the problem of match-fixing within both the sports movement and the public. Staying on Side will involve public events and workshops in six countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and the United Kingdom.


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