PtG Article 08.09.2006

UEFA and European politicians to discuss sports governance at conference

Governance in sport is making its way onto the political agenda in Europe. At the end of September politicians from Europe and the Russian State Duma will meet with a wide range of sports actors to discuss the future of sport in Europe at a conference called “Play Fair With Sport.”

The conference takes place in Strasbourg on 29 September and will attract European sports ministers, politicians, and representatives from UEFA, FIFA, national associations and team sports federations.

Amongst those who will make their way to France is director of Play the Game, Jens Sejer Andersen who has been invited to contribute to a panel discussing good governance in sport. Other panellists include Bengt Sevelius, chair of European Non-Governmental Sports Organisations, Heinz Keller, former director of the Federal Office of Sport in Switzerland and Andre Noël Chaker who is behind a European survey on good governance in sport.

The programme is organised in cooperation between UEFA and the Council of Europe, and the aims of the conference is to give all involved in European sport the opportunity to make their views known to parliamentarians and take stock of the current state of governance in sport.

Play the Game’s director finds it very encouraging that a major sports organisation like UEFA is committing itself to look for solutions to governance problems in cooperation with public bodies like the European council and the Russian Duma.

“Sport has become big business during the past few decades and it the process it has also created tremendous problems for itself and for society, so it is high time that sport seeks partnerships outside its own ranks. I hope the conference in Strasbourg will succeed and inspire other sports organisations to give up their self-sufficiency and instead make alliances with other forces in society to overcome problems like corruption and doping trade which sport can not tackle on its own,” Andersen says.

See the programme for the conference