Monday, June 25, 2012

An EU Convention on Match-Fixing?

Play the Game reports that the Council of Europe has recently resolved to as one of its subsidiary groups to initiate coordination of "a possible new international legal instrument relating to manipulation of sports results."

The full resolution, which was passed in March says the following (available here in PDF):
--Welcome the work performed in the framework of the Feasibility Study on a possible new international legal instrument relating to manipulation of sports results, and notably match-fixing, based on the Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)10;
--Invite the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), where appropriate, in co-operation with the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), Moneyval, and the Economic Crime Division (Cyber crime), and in coordination with the European Union :
  • to launch the negotiation of a possible new international convention against manipulation of sports results and notably match-fixing, that could establish an appropriate framework of commitment and co-operation to fight this scourge;
  • to involve in this work all interested EPAS members and observer states (which are or are not parties to the European Cultural Convention), with a view to developing an instrument that may be opened for signature to non European states, as well as by states, which have not yet joined EPAS guaranteeing a broad participation in the discussions and a broad support for the possible outcome(s);
  • to report to the Committe of Ministers on a draft instrument that may be eventually finalised as a convention or as another instrument;
  • to take into account in the negociations the possibility of setting up a platform of co-ordination and follow-up that will rely, as far as possible on existing bodies and structures and that will ensure co-operation with the betting operators and the sports movement;
  • to continue to implement the Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)10;
--Propose to the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe to invite the CDPC, in co-operation with GRECO and EPAS to consider, as a separate issue, the feasibility of an additional protocol to the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS no. 173), that could expand to the sport sector the scope of application of its provisions;
--Invite EPAS to explore the possibilities of the establishment of an international network of national authorities in charge of the policy regarding the betting market, in order to address sport integrity issues;
I see that neither Italy nor Turkey are members of the EPAS, which raises some interesting questions about the process of initiating a convention, as both countries are sites of recent major match-fixing scandals. I will make some inquiries about the significance of that fact, and report back.

The actions by the EPAS and the COE are most welcome and add additional evidence that the resolution of vexing sports governance problems lies with governing bodies and not sports organizations alone.


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