PtG Article 07.03.2008

Danish politicians secure future for Play the Game

The financial foundation for the next four years’ work of Play the Game was secured Wednesday 5 March as the Danish government and its parliamentary supporters included the institution in the delayed state budget agreement for 2008.

The settlement not only guarantees a regular state grant to Play the Game until 2011, it also triples the yearly amount from 67,000 to 200,000 euros.

“The political support will be welcomed by all those around the world who risk their reputation, career and sometimes their life when fighting for democracy and ethics in sport,” says Play the Game director Jens Sejer Andersen. “The agreement gives us the freedom to work to further consolidate and expand Play the Game as a unique independent platform where all stakeholders are invited to seek solutions to the challenges facing modern sport.” During months of meetings and talks, Play the Game has been received sympathetically and now enjoys support from all parties in the Danish parliament. It was a new centre-right party, Ny Alliance (New Alliance), who brought the matter to the negotiation table. In addition to the state support, Play the Game receives 80,000 euros annually from the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations and the Danish Association for Company Sport. But Play the Game must strengthen its international ties, and the new backing makes it easier, Jens Sejer Andersen says. “Danish politicians in parliament and government have set a benchmark, understanding that Play the Game is activating ethical values that our country holds dear. But democracy, transparency and freedom of expression are not national properties. They are values of global importance, also in sport, and other nations and international bodies will hopefully soon commit themselves to the cause of better governance in sport.” The first steps to internationalising Play the Game have been taken by holding the 2007 conference in Iceland, with bids now in for the 2009 event from the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.