On 5th December 2013, the Council of Europe, the University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne and the International Centre for Sport Security and Save the Dream organized – at the European Parliament in Brussels – a special presentation titled “Sport Integrity: From Europe to address a global issue”. The event was hosted and chaired by Member of Parliament Santiago Fixas Ayxela and intended to address a specific problem in sport: results manipulation.
The European Parliament arena was identified by the organizers as being the most appropriate platform to inform and solicit support – from the European Union as a whole, as well as from each of the sovereign countries of which it is comprised – on the various initiatives undertaken so far in the field of sport integrity. In this regard, this presentation was a follow-up to the conference “Sport Integrity: A Right for Youth” held in Geneva on 6th November 2013, and organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy and the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the international organizations in Geneva, in partnership with the Group of Friends on Sport for Development and Peace, the International Centre for Sport Security and Save the Dream, and Lega Pro.
It is indeed a fact that breaches to the integrity of sport are growing exponentially in every sport and every country. Ties with transnational organized crime are increasingly shown by investigative evidence and by their close links with illegal betting across the globe. A clear threat exists to the credibility of sport and to the meaningfulness of the financial investments put in place to develop sport and economic growth, consequent to these types of entertainment. However, it is not only business that is under threat. The innocence of the youngest, those who are looking at sport as something clean and as an opportunity to become a champion in life, can be seriously jeopardized.
The presentation intended to provide an update on the status of sport results manipulation, exploring its impact on the European countries and present an overview of European initiatives aimed at preventing this major threat to sport. It also sought to identify concrete efforts and initiatives to promote sport integrity values to the youth of Europe and the world.
This report includes the opening speeches of the event as well as an Annex including the papers prepared by graduate students of the Professional Master Degree in Sports Law at the University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, as their contribution to the discussion. If we want to talk about the future of sport, we cannot afford to ignore the opinions of our younger colleagues.