Another landmark global sports event, the 2018 World Cup, is now behind us. It was a month full of nail-biting excitement and dozens of matches with last-minute winning goals. However, such events re-emphasize the importance of fairness and integrity of sports. Operators, regulatory bodies, players, sports associations and media all need to be on the top of the game when it comes to fighting the match-fixing.

Europe’s most prominent anti-match-fixing cooperation networks receive between 15 and 20 alerts on potential manipulated sports events per month. Such alerts involve football and tennis matches in a majority of instances.

Match-fixing: The regulatory response within Europe and EU

The key to a robust and effective platform for tackling the match-fixing is combining educational and action-based components.

The problem of match-fixing has been in focus of EU-funded research, educational and practical policy programs for several years.

The European Parliament has adopted the 2013/2567 resolution. It urges all the EU member states to implement horizontal networking and adopt solid governance standards. The latter equally relate to both global, continental and national sports affiliations and state institutions upon monitoring, reporting and preventing the match-fixing attempts throughout Europe.

This document, as well as the convention agreed by the Council of Europe, aims to constitute match-fixing as a criminal offence throughout the continent. An updated document, under the name the Convention on Manipulation of Sports Competitions, is also prepared by the EU legislative body.

Lessons learned and examples of best regulatory practice to implement in the period to come

– Early warning system and information – sharing between athletes, sports organizations, operators and regulators
– Educational programs
– Up-to-date legislation on match-fixing throughout EU and its member states
– Bringing the match-fixing problem and the actions to prevent it closer to a digital environment

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