PtG Article 22.02.2016

Nordic ministers call for good governance in sport

In a joint statement, ministers of the Nordic countries warn that corruption, doping and manipulation of sports competitions undermine the core values of sport. There is an urgent need for action, they state.

The corruption scandals that plague international sport are threatening the integrity of sport and there is a need for immediate action in order to restore public trust.

That is the message in a joint statement signed by sports ministers from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland, and issued during the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, held 12-21 February in Lillehammer, Norway.

According to the Nordic statement on good governance in sport, the scandals in FIFA and IAAF have put a spotlight on sport’s problems. But referring to Play the Game’s recent analysis of 35 international federations, the statement also stresses that sport’s problems are more widespread than that.

“The report Sports Governance Observer 2015, presented during the Play the Game 2015 conference in Denmark, identifies serious governance deficiencies in international Olympic sports federations with regard to four key areas of governance: Transparency and public communication, democratic processes, checks and balances and solidarity,” the ministers say in the statement that also calls for political action in the field.

“We expect each international sports federation to initiate actions to rectify shortcomings indentified in the report. The time for action is NOW.”

Agenda 2020: a step on the way

In their statement, the Nordic ministers acknowledge that the IOC has taken the initial steps towards reform in international sportwith the ‘Agenda 2020’.

Meanwhile, they point to the importance of not exaggerating costs and requirements of staging the Olympic Games and other major sports events and also stress that the awarding of these events should be done in full transparency.

Sport should further strive to secure more gender balance in its leadership, nationally as well as internationally, the ministers state, while promising to raise the issue of good governance in relevant international fora and to have governance discussions with both national and international sport federations.

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