Above is the testimony given earlier this week by Jens Sejer Andersen, International Director, Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sports Studies before the European Parliament. It is worth watching (or reading, PDF here) in full, as it provides an eloquent statement of the challenges and opportunities for improved sports governance.
Here is the advice Andersen gave to the EU policy makers:
It is high time for you to as politicians to react to what is happening in sport. Let me point to some actions you can take without compromising the autonomy of sport:Andersen's full testimony can be found here in PDF and here at Play the Game.
1) It is your right and duty to protect tax-payers' money. Sport is receiving massive public subsidies at all levels, from support to grass-root activities and local sports facilities, to investment in bidding campaigns for big events, grants to Olympic athletes, elite sport structures etc. Governments and other public authorities are entitled to set the necessary conditions to ensure not only that these grants are used exclusively for their purpose, but also that the beneficiaries live up to certain standards for democracy and transparency.
2) At the European level, you can uphold a permanent pressure on the European and international sports organisations, demanding that the ISL affair, the World Cup bribery allegations, the volleyball scandal and other major affairs are fully investigated, errors corrected and cases of possible criminal conduct taken to the courts.
4) Another way of taking the debate forward could be to arrange a European or – even better – an international conference on all forms of corruption in sport. This call was sent to the IOC from 300 sports experts at the Play the Game conference in 2011 in Cologne, but so far the IOC has not listened.
5) You can insist on the issue of better governance in sport on at least two events in 2013, UNESCO’s fifth conference for sports ministers, Mineps V, in Berlin in May and our own Play the Game 2013 conference in the autumn.
6) Last, but not least, I suggest Europe should take the lead in creating an international clearing house on governance in sport, an institution that will permanently monitor and provide information exchange on how to prevent all kinds of corruption in sport.