A high-level meeting organised by the EU Presidency this week called for "rapid and concrete steps" to combat match-fixing. UEFA is particularly happy to note that all representatives agreed on the urgency to act together.
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said: "The fight against match-fixing requires a unified European approach from governments and sport bodies. UEFA is very pleased with the outcome of this meeting, which is a big step towards reaching that goal. We look forward to seeing how the work is taken forward by the EU sports ministers at their next meeting in October."
The consultative meeting organised by the Polish presidency of the European Union brought together sports ministers from Poland, the UK, Hungary, Italy and Portugal, as well as official delegations from Cyprus, France, Spain and Denmark. UEFA was also invited to the meeting in Gdansk, Poland, together with the European Handball Federation (EHF), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Europe and the European Olympic Committees (EOC). The organisations provided contributions that will help to shape the final conclusions of the EU Council of Ministers on match-fixing.
All representatives present strongly agreed that the EU had the moral responsibility to take concrete action against match-fixing at EU level without delay. In addition, the meeting concluded that there is political will to introduce a specific legal framework in all EU member states to tackle the problem of match-fixing. UEFA recommended that match-fixing be recognised as a specific criminal offence. Representatives also expressed support for the recognition of sports bodies' intellectual property rights in the context of betting.
The meeting noted that good governance forms a basis for the fight against match-fixing. Financial fair play was pointed out as an example of promoting good governance. Finally, the need for close cooperation between public authorities and sports organisations was underlined, as well as the key role of education in preventing match-fixing.
These Gdansk consultation outcomes will be further elaborated during EU sports working group meetings and the informal EU sports ministers' meeting in October. The EU Council on Education, Youth, Culture and Sport in November 2011 will adopt conclusions.
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