Council of Europe members support battle to protect sport
A call for the establishment of an International Agency to protect the integrity of sport supported by 60 MP’s was forwarded last week in Strassbourg at a special hearing on match-fixing and corruption hosted by the Council of Europe.
At the hearing, organised by PACE’s Committee on Culture, Science and Education, Cecilia Keaveney, President of the Youth and Sports Committee of the Council of Europe, intensified previous calls for action to protect sport by forwarding an International Written Declaration calling for the creation of an International Agency to protect the integrity of sport signed by 60 MP’s from 33 countries.“Match-fixing is a clear and present danger to European sport. The need to create an international anti-corruption agency to protect sport is not a debating point, it is inevitable”, Keaveney said according to a press release.While acknowledging an existing goodwill towards battling the threats to sport, Keaveney underlined that co-operation is vital to win the fight: “The evidence to date indicates that, while many individuals and organisations are talking about the right issues, no-one is capable, on their own of delivering a meaningful solution. There is no time to lose.” Also present at the hearing was Director-General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) David Howman who suggested the establishment of a world sport integrity agency based on the WADA model of organisation.The existence of criminal networks fixing football matches was highlighted by also present author of “The Fix” Dr. Declan Hill and UEFA’s Pierre Cornu.