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INTERPOL Integrity in Sport Bi-Weekly Bulletin - 24 July 2018 - 6 August 2018

Football being kicked

Over the past two weeks, several match-fixing investigations unfolded. In Fiji, an investigation committee was formed by the Football Association to look into match-fixing allegations at the 2018 Battle of the Giants tournament. In Nigeria, the first assistant coach of the football team was filmed while taking bribe to influence the player selection. The new coach of Egypt denies any involvement in reopened Spanish match-fixing investigation, however, could face two years in prison if convicted. Investigations also continue in Ukraine, with investigative bodies conducting interrogations and preparing to ban dozens of individuals from football.

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) reported the suspension of an Argentinian tennis player who has been found guilty of match-fixing and failed to report a number of corrupt approaches to the TIU. He will be sanctioned at a later date.

An investigation shows that scammers posing as talent agents use social media to trick African children and their families into sending them to Europe for a career in football. Victims as young as 13 are given fake passports and sent to remote countries to "wait for visas". As the documents never turn, children are left with no cash or identification and are often forced into lives of drug dealing, slavery or prostitution.

In terms of policy, Australia proposes prison terms for athletes passing insider information to bookmakers and stricter punishments for dopers. In Italy, the Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (“Macolin Convention”, CETS No. 215). In Ireland, the government is investing €220m in sport for the next 10 years.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) welcomed new anti-doping regulations in the sport that put greater responsibility on national federations.

Following an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council meeting, national federations will be divided into three categories with differing obligations based on their level of success and the perceived risk of doping. The IAAF said four member federations – Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus, Ukraine – would constitute the current watch-list of Category A, which includes the members most at risk of doping.

We are pleased to announce that INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are expanding their joint global capacity-building and training programme to protect the integrity of sports. The joint training programme strengthens global operational networks to tackle competition manipulation like the IOC Integrity Betting Intelligence System or the INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force, the operational arm of the programme with 125 points of contact in 81 countries, as well as at Europol.

In terms of good practices, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) signed an agreement with RC3 and Partners Consulting to create a sports integrity awareness-raising programme dedicated to players, coaches, FIVB licensed agents and officials.

The 2018 eSports Survey reveals that 71% of the professional respondents fear the eSports gambling could lead to match-fixing. In addition, 78% of espondents view match-fixing as a serious or moderate risk to the sustained wellness and growth of an industry that is projected to grow to nearly $1 billion by the end of 2018.

During the second quarter of 2018, international betting integrity body ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) reported 62 cases of suspicious betting involving tennis, football, bowls, handball, boxing, basketball, beach volleyball and eSports.

Lastly, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed FIFA’s former secretary general appeal seeking to overturn his 10-year ban from football over  corruption.

We welcome submissions on best practices, major developments, new trends and relevant articles for publication in the bulletin. We also welcome hard copies of publications that your Organization is producing in the field of sports corruption at the below address.

The next bi-weekly bulletin will be circulated on Monday, 20 August 2018.

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2018 BOG: Probe into match fixing claims

An investigation committee has been formed by the Fiji Football Association to look into complaints by Lautoka of match fixing at the recent Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants tournament. Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf confirmed that the Tavua side will be investigated on possible match fixing allegations.

We have formed a committee to do the investigations. The committee will meet players and officials of Lautoka and gather information and evidence. The report will then be given to the Board of Control who will assess it and then hand it to the Ethics Committee to decide what is appropriate,” Yusuf said.

It is understood that the Lautoka Football Association made the allegations after Labasa thumped Tavua 5-nil on day three of the BOG. The 5-nil drubbing meant Labasa secured a spot in the tournament semi-finals, leaving Lautoka to win at least by four clear goals against Ba later that day to qualify for the semi-finals.

Lautoka bowed out of the tournament with six points despite defeating Ba 2-nil, as Ba and Labasa each had six points but a better goal average than Lautoka. Yusuf said they will go deeper into these matters such as match fixing because it was important to keep football clean in all aspects.

Source: Rohit Deo, 31 July 2018, Fiji Times



Football Corruption: Nigeria Top Coach Caught Taking Bribe (Video)

Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas has struck again this time taking his focus to the Nigerian Football Federation. The first assistant coach of the Nigerian team that was at the 2018 World cup held in Russia who is due to lead the national team to the Olympics in 2020 has been captured by Anas taking bribe to influence players selection.

The coach identified as Salisu Yusuf was seen taking money from some player agents in other to field them in the team according to the video released by the BBC. According to some sources, the video has already been given to the Nigerian Football Federation(NFF). The BBC has also come out to reveal that the video was captured by Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in September 2017.

Source: 25 July 2018, Peace FM Online



New Egypt coach Javier Aguirre dismisses reopened match-fixing case in Spain

Javier Aguirre was presented as the new coach of Egypt on Thursday and denied any involvement in a match-fixing investigation in Spain. Six years ago, he was implicated in match-fixing accusations in La Liga, though he was never found guilty nor sentenced. Spanish prosecutors reopened the case in February and now say that Aguirre could face two years in prison if convicted in a case involving a total of 41 players and former club officials. He has denied any wrongdoing, but Japan fired him as its coach in 2015 for his ties to the investigation.

"First of all I have to say that everything is clear here. Everything is cleared," the former Mexico national team coach said at a news conference in Cairo on Thursday. "It happened six years ago, it was 42 people, me included, that had to go through and answer some questions in hearings. Nothing found and the case collapsed. I don't know why they [Spanish authorities] reopened the case, there is still an investigation but at the end of the story, in the last six years it just took 15 minutes of my life to think and talk about this. So there's no way it can affect my job. It didn't in the last six years so there's now it can affect me for the future. Thank you."

The case involves Spanish clubs Levante and Zaragoza in 2011. The prosecutors cited evidence Zaragoza paid &euros;965,000 to Levante's players to lose a match to Zaragoza. Coached by Aguirre at the time, Zaragoza avoided relegation by beating Levante 2-1 in the final round of the season. A lower court shelved the case but it was reopened this year after an appeal by prosecutors in Valencia, where the match was played. [...]

Source: 2 August 2018, ESPN



Ukraine Football Federation says dozens to be banned from football in match-fixing probe

Ukraine's investigative bodies are conducting interrogations in a high-profile match-fixing case. According to the investigation, the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) is preparing to ban dozens of people from football, the sports news outlet SportArena reports referring to journalist Kostyantyn Andriyuk. "The interrogations are underway. There will be indictments and loud exposures and lifelong disqualifications very soon. We are talking about dozens of people," the journalist said.

A month ago, Ukraine's law enforcement agencies conducted the second stage of a large-scale special operation to combat corruption in Ukrainian football. In total, over 30 searches took place in the city of Kyiv, Kyiv region, as well as in Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Sumy, Lviv, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, and Chernihiv regions.

First searches were conducted on May 22. During a special press conference of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it became known there were suspicions of participation in match-fixing against 30 Ukrainian clubs, five of which represented the Ukrainian Premier League at that time.

Source: 26 July 2018, UNIAN




Argentinian tennis player Patricio Heras found guilty of match-fixing

Mr Heras suspended from playing tennis until disciplinary sanction confirmed by independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy QC.

Argentinian tennis player Patricio Heras has been found guilty of match-fixing and other related offences, which breach the terms of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program (TACP).

Mr Heras was found to have contrived the outcome of a match played at the ATP Challenger tournament in Barranquilla, Colombia in September 2015. He also failed to report a number of corrupt approaches received during August and September 2015, to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Jane Mulcahy QC considered the case at a Hearing held in London on 6 April 2018, following an investigation by the TIU.

Having now been found guilty of the charges, he will be sanctioned at a future date to be determined by AHO Mulcahy. Details of the Decision on sanctions will be made public when received. Until that time, and with immediate effect, Mr Heras is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport.

The 29-year old is currently ranked 306 in singles and has a career-high of 269 achieved in September 2013.

The breaches of the TACP he has been found guilty of are:

Section D.1.d: "No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event."

Section D.2.a.i: “In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player's obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible."

Section D.2.c: "For the avoidance of doubt, (i) a failure of the Reporting Obligation by any Covered Person… shall constitute a Corruption Offense for the purposes of the Program."

The Tennis Integrity Unit is an initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and the WTA, who are jointly committed to a zero tolerance approach to corruption in tennis.

Source: 27 July 2018, Tennis Integrity Unit




How fake football agents are conning Africa’s desperate footie-loving kids into child slavery with social media ads

THOUSANDS of footy-mad kids from poverty-stricken countries are being duped into child trafficking by conmen who promise trials at Premier League clubs. Scammers posing as talent agents use social media to trick the youngsters and their family's into forking out fortunes to send them to the UK and Europe, giving hopes of becoming the next Didier Drogba or Sadio Mane.

Coming mainly from African nations, children as young as 13 are given fake passports and sent to remote countries to "wait for visas". But the documents never turn, leaving them dumped with no cash or identification. Once stranded they are often forced into lives of drug dealing, slavery or prostitution. As many as 15,000 vulnerable kids are annually netted by traffickers in this way, according to a Sunday People investigation.

FIFA’s former head of security, ex-Interpol agent Chris Eaton, told the newspaper: “There are thousands of African -children and youths tricked and even trafficked to European countries. “They are all being attracted by the Premier League. English clubs have launched campaigns to stop this sort of crime, but it has not been matched by the Confederation of African Football or FIFA. "They are failing in their moral duty. They talk about the dream, but so often the dream turns into a nightmare.

Nigerian Andrew Gerald was 18 when his family was conned into paying huge sums to a crook after being told he had the potential to make it in the Premier League. He played for a club in Lagos when he was approached by a conman, who said he could go to trials in Romania. After his family managed to find £700 he was flown to Senegal where he was told to wait a week for a visa. The documents never arrived and Andrew spent the next 14 years stranded in Dakar before he was finally able to escape. Eventually, aged 33, he landed a contract in Macedonia but was never paid.

He said: “I trusted this guy. He promised I could become a pro. I lost everything. I couldn’t afford to leave and I didn’t want to give up my dream of playing football. "These agents give you a dream of becoming the next Didier Drogba or Jay-Jay Okocha. "I know two boys who paid thousands to play at Tottenham. They were abandoned and there were no trials.

Thousands of children have been lured to Britain after being promised trials at top clubs while their trafficking captors evade justice.

Source: Charlie Parker, 29 July 2018, The Sun


Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB); RC3 and Partners Consulting

FIVB joins forces with RC3 and Partners for the development of innovative E-learning programme to tackle match manipulation Lausanne, Switzerland, July 30, 2018 – The FIVB today announced the signing of an agreement with RC3 and Partners Consulting to create an awareness-raising program for sport integrity entitled, “Prevention program on tackling sport manipulation”. RC3 and Partners Consulting is a consultancy and education firm with renowned experts in the field of sport integrity.

The programme, which will be made available to the entire volleyball community in the months to come, is aimed at all levels of Players and Coaches, as well as FIVB Licensed Agents and Officials.

The FIVB has invited all members of the volleyball family to contribute to its development by completing a short Questionnaire.

The answers gathered from the Questionnaire will allow the FIVB to assess the current understanding of Players, Coaches, Officials and other stakeholders with regard to the manipulation of competitions and then tailor the e-learning programme accordingly. With 222 affiliated National Federations (NFs) across five continents, the FIVB is working hard to ensure the programme is relevant and easy to use for all stakeholders.

FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F said of the programme:

"Our mission at the FIVB is to be the world’s number one sport and a key part of this is to have exhilarating live volleyball and beach volleyball matches where any result is possible. This purpose of the e-learning programme is to promote a wider understanding of the dangers of match manipulation and educate everyone involved in volleyball in how to avoid it. The questionnaire is important in allowing us to tailor the programme to our stakeholders and ensure that it is as valuable as possible."

Norbert Rubicsek, managing partner of RC3 and Partners Consulting added:

"Manipulation of sports competitions is a dangerous phenomenon, against which no sport, including volleyball is protected. We are delighted about contributing to the enthusiastic efforts of the FIVB in fighting it. I am convinced that our E-learning programme will be able to provide adequate information on sport manipulation and the possible counter measures, which will be able to strengthen the integrity of the sport and the awareness of the FIVB family."

The introduction of the programme is a pre-emptive approach, aiming to minimise the threat of manipulation in future competitions and secure volleyball and beach volleyball as a family-friendly, safe sport. The FIVB intends to make the completion of the E-learning programme a mandatory requirement to participate in FIVB and World Competitions. The FIVB has also produced a similar programme informing athletes and team personnel attending FIVB events of their responsibilities regarding the World Anti-doping Code.

In an ever-increasingly digital world, creating an online programme which is available whenever required offers stakeholders much more value than hosting a single event or series. Following the launch of the programme, experts from the FIVB will be available for advice on promoting it and supporting NFs, clubs and officials in the prevention of the manipulation of competitions.

Source: 30 July 2018,

INTERPOL; International Olympic Committee (IOC)

INTERPOL and IOC renew partnership to strengthen sports integrity

LYON, France – INTERPOL and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are to expand their joint global capacity building and training programme to protect the integrity of sports.

Under a recent agreement renewing their partnership until 2021, INTERPOL and the IOC will carry out a wide range of national and regional joint training sessions to raise awareness and build capacity within law enforcement and sports organizations to facilitate effective investigations into competition manipulation.

As part of the first period of their partnership (2015 – 2017), INTERPOL and the IOC organized 30 tailor-made capacity building training events involving 46 different countries, with some 1,100 participants trained.

Competition manipulation remains a global concern, with organized criminal syndicates operating on a large transnational scale, and targeting an ever wider range of sports,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime, Paul Stanfield.

Despite national efforts to respond to competition manipulation, the solution lies through a coordinated approach, between the sports movement and law enforcement, at all levels. Our on-going partnership with the IOC sets the example of an effective strategic partnership at the international level,” added Mr Stanfield.

This partnership links with relevant international initiatives and specific capacity building events led to the creation of national platforms to address competition manipulation in Belgium and Norway, as outlined in the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The partnership also promotes the implementation of the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.

The joint training programme strengthens global operational networks to tackle competition manipulation like the IOC Integrity Betting Intelligence System or the INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force, the operational arm of the programme with 125 points of contact in 81 countries, as well as at Europol.

As part of the partnership, INTERPOL and the IOC established mechanisms to exchange information to protect the integrity of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, in February 2018. INTERPOL acted as a hub for law enforcement in order to successfully facilitate and coordinate the exchange of data for issues related to integrity in sport and integrity of sport competitions.

Protecting the clean athletes from all forms of corruption and manipulation is our top priority,” said Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. “Our strong collaboration with INTERPOL serves to safeguard the integrity of sport. We are very satisfied with the outcomes of our partnership during the last three years and are looking forward to continuing our close teamwork with them.

INTERPOL and the IOC have jointly published two handbooks to accompany their training activities: the Handbook on Protecting Sport from Competition Manipulation, and the Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity.

The cooperation between INTERPOL and the IOC was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2014.

Source: 27 July 2018, INTERPOL


2018 Esports Survey

Match Fixing Remains A Threat To Esports Community

The biggest threat to continued success for the esports industry is match fixing. A total of 78% of respondents to a recently conducted survey view match fixing as a serious or moderate risk to the sustained wellness and growth of an industry that is projected to grow to nearly $1 billion by the end of 2018 and can now brag about investments from individuals such as former HP CEO Meg Whitman as well as Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry.

Fears related to match fixing are much more justified in esports than professional sports based on myriad factors, including but not limited to much lower guaranteed pay for esports players as compared to traditional professional athletes as well as esports players generally skewing younger and thus perhaps being more susceptible to bribes in exchange for influencing the outcomes of games. These fears not only may affect the speed of the industry's growth, but could also serve to limit how quickly esports events are offered by sportsbooks.

The aforementioned survey, titled 2018 Esports Survey, also reveals that 71% of the professional respondents fear that esports gambling could lead to match fixing. It is a fear shared by others, as evidenced by the State of New Jersey, the third state to legalize sports betting within its borders (after long-standing Nevada and more recently Delaware), initially including a restriction from betting on esports events.

"When you consider the amount of money in esports gambling, combined with the ability of one player to make or break a team's prospects for success, match fixing is really the elephant in the room," says Foley & Lardner LLP's Mary K. Braza. "Looking ahead, match fixing has the potential to negatively impact the popularity of esports if fans get the impression that cheating is widespread or that results are illegitimate."

No matter whether a claim is validated, rumors about players intentionally losing games without going punished has the potential to tarnish the integrity of matches, causing fans to lose interest and negatively impacting the value of esports as a whole. Take for instance a message board thread started in early 2018 that alleged a League of Legends player threw a match without suffering any recourse. The creation of the thread leads to back-and-forth commentary that can cause concerns despite the veracity of the initial claims made.

While the fear of match fixing may present a serious problem for the rapidly expanding esports industry, it should also cause growth in demand for individuals and companies who are effectively able to curb such practices. There should be a premium placed on monitoring tools and fraud detection services that identify suspicious activity.

124 professionals, primarily associated with esports and traditional professional sports teams and leagues, technology and media companies were surveyed as part of the 2018 Esports Survey Report. The report was commissioned by Foley & Lardner LLP along with The Esports Observer.

Source: Darren Heitner, 25 July 2018, Forbes


ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity)

62 suspicious betting alerts reported by ESSA in Q2 2018

Brussels, 25 July: International betting integrity body ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) reported 62 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during the second quarter (Q2) of 2018. The Q2 cases involved 8 sports with: 44 cases in tennis, 12 cases in football, and one each in bowls, handball, boxing, basketball, beach volleyball and eSports.

ESSA Secretary General Khalid Ali said: “We have played a crucial role in bringing transparency to betting related match-fixing, which is why we have taken a keen interest in the recent publication of the Interim Report into tennis by the Independent Review Panel. We support many of the recommendations made by the Panel and we wish to work with the sport to address betting related issues. However, we have serious concerns about a blanket discontinuation of the sale of data for events at the lowest level of tennis and whether that approach is proportionate to the issue and will provide a practical and effective solution.

He added “We are seeking to deliver a number of alternative evidence-based options that we hope the Panel and the various governing bodies within the sport will be willing to explore in more detail and to reaching a position that is mutually beneficial, places integrity to the fore and also serves to avoid any adverse commercial impacts”.

The Q2 report includes an article from the American Gaming Association (AGA), where they explain what the legalised sports betting landscape will look like, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional.

ESSA holds positions on high-level betting policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of important initiatives aimed at addressing match-fixing and hosted an international betting integrity conference at Lords Cricket Ground (see here) at the end of last year, attended by over 150 senior officials from sports bodies, regulators and other key stakeholders. A copy of ESSA’s Q2 integrity report can be accessed here along with previous reports.

Source: 25 July 2018, ESSA



Integrity report calls for hard line on doping, match-fixing

SYDNEY (AP) — Athletes who pass information to bookmakers may be jailed and match-fixing will become a federal crime if the recommendations of a report into sports integrity in Australia are accepted.

The report, released on Wednesday after a review led by a prominent lawyer, recommends the establishment of a national integrity commission which will have powers to initiate criminal proceedings.

The commission will particularly target match-fixing and doping across all sports. Major sporting organizations such as rugby league and cricket which already have integrity arms, will be able to opt out of membership but the anti-corruption body will have the power to investigate offending within those sports.

In an address to the National Press Club Wednesday, Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie said "this report presents Australia with an opportunity to safeguard our sport for decades to come."

The report recommends the establishment of a national sports tribunal which would have sweeping new powers. Suspected drug cheats would be stripped of protection from self-incrimination and witnesses would be compelled to give evidence to the tribunal, which would have the powers of a Royal commission.

Senator McKenzie said the report had been with the government for three months and it had yet to decide which of the 52 recommendations it will enact.

"It is a complex area and I'm taking advice from right across government," she said.

The review found links between organized crime and sports betting and said risks will grow as the betting markets continue to develop.

The Australian Olympic Committee has backed the report which AOC president John Coates called the most comprehensive national response of its kind. Coates urged the government to act on a recommendation for Australia to Register to the Macolin Convention, a European agreement on match-fixing.

"The threats to the integrity of sport are trans-national and Australia can no longer sit on the sidelines. We must be part of the global response," Coates said.

The Australian government has established a task force to respond to the report.

"We're faced with external threats of an unprecedented level," Senator McKenzie said. "Of particular concern is Australia's ability to confront the ever-growing threat of illegal wagering on sport and its connections with match-fixing and organized crime."

Source: AP, 1 August 2018, New Zealand Herald

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU)

Integrity unit backs new IAAF anti-doping rules

BUENOS AIRES: The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has welcomed new anti-doping regulations in the sport that put greater responsibility on national federations.

Following an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council meeting, national federations will be divided into three categories with differing obligations based on their level of success and the perceived risk of doping.

For too long the strict requirements of the anti-doping rules have fallen largely onto athletes,” AIU Chairman David Howman said in a statement.

The IAAF Council should be congratulated for adopting innovative new rules that also make all of its member federations accountable on anti-doping matters. This will help ensure lasting and meaningful change in athletics.

The doping scandal involving Russian athletes, which saw the country’s track and field team banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics, has cast a long and enduring shadow over athletics.

The AIU was set up a year ago as part of the IAAF’s effort to separate itself from anti-doping and corruption and rebuild athlete and fan confidence in the sport. The AIU first raised the idea of the new rules with the IAAF council in November and after discussions with all stakeholders recommended the amendments at this week’s meeting in Buenos Aires.

The IAAF said four member federations — Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus, Ukraine — would constitute the current watch-list of Category A, which includes the members most at risk of doping.

Source: 29 July 2018, The News


National Sports Policy 2018-2027: Government to double investment to €220m

The doubling of Government investment in sport - from the current annual figure of €111 million to €220m - is one of the standout objectives of the new National Sports Policy 2018-2027.

Almost 10 years since the last policy document expired, there are plenty of similarly ambitious objectives over the next decade: 57, to be exact, the 2018-2027 policy stretching to 11 chapters, more than 108 pages, and touching on almost every aspect of sport in Ireland.

This includes the trebling of annual high performance investment support to some €30 million over the next decade.

Unveiled in Dublin on Wednesday morning after some two years in the works, it is built on one main strategic objective: “Elevate Ireland to the top of the table globally for both participation in sport and high performance.

This is then broken down in 57 specific “actions” largely based around increasing participation, improving the sporting infrastructure, and maximising the high performance achievement of elite Irish athletes.

In the short term, this will see €1.5m allocation to support Tokyo 2020 preparations as part of a longer-term drive to treble the level of support to match comparator nations like New Zealand; there will be an immediate acceleration of Women in Sport Programme, double annual funding provision to €2million; there will also be the creation of a dedicated €1m programme for Disability Sport through the deployment of a Sport Inclusion Disability Officer in all 26 Local Sport Partnership’s countrywide.

The much maligned Sports Capital Programme has already been shaken up in terms of the application process: this will become an annual fund, and “the scoring system and assessment process for the Sports Capital Programme will be reviewed to ensure that the programme is achieving objectives in line with this National Sports Policy”.

A new Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund will also be implemented, “where the exchequer investment will exceed the maximum amount available under the Sports Capital Programme”.

There will also be a shake-up in the elite and high-performance end. The policy calls for more targeted high performance funding to deliver more Olympic/Paralympic medals (13 in 2016 to 20 in 2028), and also for funding to be provided on multi-annual basis, based on Olympic cycles. Essentially, increased funding to be targeted at fewer sports for more medals.

The publication of this policy is an important milestone for the Irish sporting community,” said Shane Ross, Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport. “Following an extensive consultation process and research of best practice internationally, this policy sets out a Vision for Irish Sport in 2027 along with 57 actions to transform our sporting landscape over the next decade.

“The benefits of sport and physical activity to physical and mental health are well proven. An estimated €1.5 billion cost to our annual health budget due to physical inactivity indicates the scale of the financial benefit to be gained.

Minister of State at the Department, Brendan Griffin, also highlighted the need for the National Sports Policy to improve Ireland’s success rate on the global stage, with that trebling of annual high performance investment.

The inspirational effect of our high performance athletes is hugely important,” said Griffin. “Seeing an Irish sportsperson on an Olympic podium or being crowned an All-Ireland Champion in Croke Park inspires the next generation of athletes in that sport.

“Because of the financial crisis, it has simply not been possible to support our high performance athletes as much as we would have liked over the last decade. However, it is my ambition to redress that situation. Comparator nations are investing multiples of what Ireland is currently doing and if we are to compete successfully we have to do likewise. It is my aim to treble our annual high performance investment support to some €30 million over the next decade.

Interestingly, the policy suggests a move to make anti-doping in Irish sport independent of Sport Ireland: “Ireland sees an emerging requirement for the anti-doping system to be seen as independent of the system that supports and funds the achievement of excellence in sport. The trend internationally is for the establishment of an agency, separate to the sports development agency, to regulate anti-doping matters. We commit to a detailed consideration of this issue in the first two years of the policy.

The policy was prepared after an extensive public consultation process and collaboration with the sports sector (National Governing Bodies of Sport - NGBs LSPs and other stakeholders - Govt. Depts, Local Authorities etc).

Source: Ian O'Riordan, 25 July 2018, The Irish Times


Comunicato stampa del Consiglio dei Ministri n. 12

Il Consiglio dei Ministri si è riunito oggi, venerdì 27 luglio 2018, alle ore 12.54 a Palazzo Chigi, sotto la presidenza del Presidente Giuseppe Conte. Segretario il Sottosegretario alla Presidenza del Consiglio Giancarlo Giorgetti.


Il Consiglio dei Ministri, su proposta del Ministro degli affari esteri e della cooperazione internazionale Enzo Moavero Milanesi e dei Ministri competenti, ha approvato otto disegni di legge di ratifica ed esecuzione di accordi internazionali. Tra questi, i primi sette erano già stati approvati in prima lettura nella diciassettesima legislatura dalla Camera dei deputati e godranno della procedura di approvazione prevista dall’art. 107 del regolamento della stessa Camera.

Di seguito i principali elementi dei provvedimenti approvati e l’indicazione dei Ministri co-proponenti.

  1. Convenzione del Consiglio d’Europa sulla manipolazione di competizioni sportive, fatta a Magglingen il 18 settembre 2014 (Presidenza del Consiglio co-proponente)

La Convenzione mira a prevenire conflitti di interesse tra gli operatori delle scommesse sportive e gli organizzatori, incoraggiare le autorità di controllo delle scommesse sportive, a lottare contro la frode e le scommesse sportive illecite. Il ddl identifica nell’Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli l’Autorità nazionale per la regolamentazione delle scommesse sportive. Viene inoltre introdotta una specifica disposizione in merito alla confisca dei beni che costituiscono il prodotto, il profitto o il prezzo del reato, nonché dei beni e degli strumenti informatici o telematici che servirono o furono destinati a commettere il reato.

Source: 27 July 2018, Governo Italiano


Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS); Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

CAS rejects ex-FIFA official Jerome Valcke's ban appeal over corruption

A French national, Valcke worked at FIFA from 2003 to January 2016, when he was sacked over his involvement in black market ticket sales and misconduct in television deals.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday dismissed an appeal by former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke seeking to overturn his 10 year ban from football over corruption. "The panel concluded that the offences found to have been committed by Jerome Valcke were cumulatively of a serious degree of gravity and that, therefore, the sanctions of a ten-year ban and fine of CHF 100,000 were wholly proportionate," the court said in a statement.

Valcke, who served as top deputy to disgraced ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, was initially banned in June 2016 and launched his appeal in February of last year. Valcke and Blatter were key figures in the massive graft scandal that rocked FIFA in 2015 and forced sweeping changes within world football's governing body. CAS said there was evidence supporting charges that Valcke breached FIFA's ethics rules "in the resale of FIFA World Cup tickets, in relation to his travel expenses, his involvement in a transaction between FIFA and a software development company, an offer of an improper benefit to the regional football union and his failure to cooperate with the FIFA investigation."

A French national, Valcke worked at FIFA from 2003 to January 2016, when he was sacked over his involvement in black market ticket sales and misconduct in television deals. Subsequent investigations by FIFA's new management have also implicated Valcke in millions of dollars worth of unregulated spending, notably on private jets. Separately, he has been implicated in a Swiss criminal investigation involving the possible illegal sale of World Cup media rights to beIN media, whose chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi is also the president of Paris Saint-Germain.

Source: 28 July 2018, Mid-Day


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