PtG Article 08.11.2012

Swiss Federal Council approves report on stronger rules on sports fraud

A Swiss council report concludes that existing anti-corruption measures taken by sport organisations are insufficient and examines ways to enhance regulations, including making fraud in sport a criminal offence.

Switzerland is a preferred place for sports organisations to be based due to a favourable legal framework, now the Swiss Council of States Science, Education and Culture Committee, under which sport is categorised, has requested a report from the Federal Council looking into how corruption and match-fixing in sport can be effectively combated.

The Federal Council, which constitutes the federal government in Switzerland, was asked to do an examination of the current measures and to consider possible new legislation on the area.

The report names five measures for the state to examine:

  1. the strengthening of international cooperation
  2. a tightening of the Swiss corruption legislation
  3. making fraud in sport a criminal offence
  4. making new criminal dispositions for companies
  5. the adequacy of criminal procedures following offences

“Sport has to take more robust action against corruption in its own ranks,” a press release from the Swiss government says and calls for ‘harmonised and binding’ systems of good governance.

Not only sport’s integrity is at stake, says the press release, “but also Switzerland’s reputation as the home to numerous international sports associations.”

The potential solutions outlined in the report will now be further examined by federal departments and specific regulatory proposals are to be made.

FIFA welcomes reportThe International Football Federation FIFA is one of the sports organisations residing in Switzerland and could as such be affected by future legislation on the area. During the last couple of years, FIFA has been going through several cases of corruption allegations and accusations of mis-management.

In a response to the Swiss report, FIFA states that: “The complexity of the problems inherent in fighting corruption and match-fixing calls for systematic self-regulation as well as state measures. FIFA recognises the need for action at state level and is pleased to note that the measures it has implemented as part of its reform process are mentioned in the report as a milestone.”

FIFA has recently initiated a larger reform process in an attempt to form a more transparent organisation.

“I am delighted that the Federal Council has approved the relevant measures relating to the [FIFA] reform process,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter says in the FIFA statement.

“This acknowledgement and the report by the Council of States Committee show that we are heading in the right direction and will motivate us further to see the process through to its conclusion at the 2013 FIFA Congress. Both FIFA and I remain fully committed to this reform process.”

Read the press release from the Swiss government: The Federal Council approves report on corruption in sport

Read the full report (in French):Lutte contre la corruption et les matchs truqués dans le sport

Read FIFA’s response to the report