Play the Game 2009 highlights need for global sports anti-corruption agency


After five days of debate, discussion and constructive engagement, Play the Game 2009, the sixth world communication conference on sport and society came to an end in Coventry, UK.

Nearly 300 delegates from 31 countries attended the conference, with journalists, researchers, administrators and other sports stakeholders sharing experiences and ideas for the future development of sport and its role in society.

Among the many issues around 120 speakers dealt with during the conference, in particular one idea was highlighted, Jens Sejer Andersen said:

“The idea of an international anti-corruption body in sports has been considerably strengthened, and we see some hope that concrete action will be taken before we meet next time in 2011.”

He also said that the problems exposed at Play the Game had become so serious that it was high time for the IOC and the international federations to accept the invitations of Play the Game and get actively involved.

“What are you afraid of? Do you really only want to discuss with people that already agree with you, such as close friends and partners, or isn’t it the very nature of discussions that they take part between people who disagree, in the hope that we find constructive ways of living with the disagreement or move towards more agreement?”

Unrestricted dialogue between different stakeholders is needed if sustainable solutions and innovative practices are to be found for sport, Andersen stated with a reference to the same ancient Greek culture that modern sport is constantly referring to as its historical basis:

“The same Greek civilisation emphasised that there is only one way to develop the character of individuals and societies: Open dialogue and active democratic involvement. This is the spirit of Play the Game, and it should also be the spirit by the Olympic community and sport as a whole.”

  • Earle Zeigler, 11.07.2009 09:30:
    Commercialized, overemphasized sport has gradually but steadily reached the point where it may be doing more harm than good as a social force impacting society.This includes the Olympic Games Movement itself.

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