Report reveals football as a vehicle for money laundering.
A report published by FATF, an international agency responsible for tracking the proceeds of crime, reveals that money laundering through the football sector is "deeper and more complex than previously understood”.
The report “Money Laundering through the football sector”, published on June 1, warns that there are several areas within the football sector that are vulnerable to criminal activities.
More than 20 cases of money laundering within the football sector have been gathered though responses to questionnaires answered by government and football officials from 25 countries. These cases provide material for the report.
“There is more than anecdotal evidence indicating that a variety of money flows and /or financial transactions may increase the risk of money laundering through football”, the report states.
The report informs that because of the growing economic importance of the football sector, it is at risk of being inflicted with criminal money. The report also shows that the current regulatory structure of the sector may not be geared to deal with this risk.
Ownership of football clubs, the transfer market and ownership of players, betting activities and image rights, sponsorship and advertising arrangements are reported to be the most vulnerable areas in the sector.
According to the study, criminal activities that are likely to take place in the sector are not limited to financial crimes but also include corruption and trafficking of both drugs and human beings.
The study has been carried out with the aim of drawing attention to the weeknesses to financial crime to be found within the football industry and to provide guidelines as to how to prevent it.
The report finishes up highlighting a list of precautions to take in order to keep the criminal activities away from the sport, emphasising good governance, the need to control online betting and the importance of international co-operation.
The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing.