The European Parliament has today backed all of UEFA's key aims in the areas of betting and match-fixing. Today's vote at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg adds a significant voice to UEFA's efforts to combat match-fixing in football.
UEFA President Michel Platini said: "I am delighted with this report and would like to congratulate the European Parliament for standing firmly on UEFA's side and against the criminal powers that orchestrate match-fixing in Europe. Through working together we can put a stop to the biggest threat facing the future of sport in Europe."
The resolution voted through today by the MEPs calls for measures to protect the integrity of sport through cross-border cooperation between sport organisations and relevant public bodies. Importantly, it recognises the added value an EU-wide approach can have in the area of online betting. The MEPs also specifically recommend penalising betting fraud as a criminal offence throughout Europe.
The European Parliament's resolution on online gambling calls for the recognition of sport organisation's property rights to their competitions through a fair financial return from betting organisations. France is the first country in Europe to have enshrined this right into law. Ultimately this property right ensures cooperation between sport organisers and betting companies, which leads to more transparency, better monitoring and control mechanisms, and can help to fight money laundering through betting.
The European Commission adopted a Green Paper on Online Gambling in the Internal Market in March this year, which launched a consultation process on, amongst other points, match-fixing. The resolution voted through today sets out the European Parliament's position on the Commission's green paper.
The European Parliament is the latest political body to join UEFA's efforts to combat match-fixing. The Council of Europe adopted a resolution on match-fixing in September. President Platini also addressed the European sports ministers on the subject at their meeting in Krakow in October (see UEFA media releases). The Polish Presidency of the EU aims to have combating match-fixing included in the EU Council conclusions later this year.
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