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Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) launched by the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS)

We publish below the media release issued by ICSS setting out the basic principles for cleaning up sport, from the point of view of good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity as enshrined in the SIGA Declaration of Core Principles on Sport Integrity   TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION the convening of an informal coalition of more than 30 leading organisations that comprise a Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) representing sport, government, international authorities, business, academia and civil society, convening in New York on 2 November 2015 and in London on 18 February 2016; RECOGNISING the invaluable social, educational and cultural function of sport, in particular its special role in transcending political, geographic, ethnic, religious, national and other barriers, and through this, uniting people over the world in the collective spirit of fair play, peace and mutual respect, and in the potential to achieve the highest forms of athletic skill, endurance, recreation, excellence and extraordinary human achievement; GIVING RECOGNITION to sport’s specific nature and the historic responsible autonomy of its representative structures, the conduct and operation of which must take place within the boundaries of the law and in conformity with the good governance principles, including democracy, transparency, accountability and meaningful stakeholder representation; ACKNOWLEDGING the governance and reputational challenges faced by the sport sector today; The participants in SIGA RECOGNISE AND SUPPORT
  1. a) The urgent need for fundamental reforms in sport, rooted in the core concepts of democracy, transparency, accountability, integrity and stakeholder representation;
  1. b) The growth, advancement and success of the sport sector, and commitment to encourage the swift and immediate execution of core reforms that advance and ensure for the future the highest standards of good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity; and
  1. c) That, above all, reforms must reflect a strong and wholly credible commitment to preserve the integrity and essence of sport and its future, for the highest benefits to society and the economy; and
Endorse and encourage the adoption of the following: CORE PRINCIPLES ON SPORT INTEGRITY In the case of Good Governance, to:
  1. Agree that the conduct and operation of sport must always take place within the boundaries of all applicable laws and regulations, and in conformity with the good governance principles of democracy, transparency, accountability and meaningful stakeholder representation across the sport community;
  1. Uphold and respect the universal principles of sports ethics such as fair play, solidarity, respect for human rights, dignity, integrity and diversity, and reject of any form of discrimination;
  1. Implement the highest governance standards, including, but not limited to, democratic and transparent electoral processes, term limits, separation of powers between their regulatory and commercial functions, monitoring of potential conflicts of interest, risk management procedures, gender equality at the board level, independent directors, meaningful stakeholder representation in the decision-making organs, transparent and accountable financial management and proper oversight;
  1. Maintain, at all levels in the sport sector, a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption, bribery and illegal financial dealings, including but not limited to, the implementation of adequate criteria and transparent bidding processes for the organisation of major sports events, selling of broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals and other commercial arrangements;
In the case of Financial Integrity, to:
    1. Uphold the highest standards in terms of financial integrity and transparency across the sport sector, including the implementation of club licensing systems both at national and international level, with appropriate financial criteria, due diligence and effective supervision mechanisms;
  1. Build core financial capacity throughout the networks of clubs, federations, leagues, athletes’ unions and other organisations to ensure adoption of universally recognised principles for accounting and finance and issuance of regular annual reports;
  2. Assess existing club ownership regulatory frameworks and develop fit and proper club owners and directors tests, to ensure that those who own and administer sports organisations enjoy appropriate moral and professional credentials and prevent the risks of potential criminal infiltration, conflicts of interests and other detrimental consequences;
  3. Support the establishment of independent monitoring, audit and oversight in relation to all sport-related development programs and financial transactions, including but not limited to, athletes’ transfer fees, agents and other third party commissions, sale of commercial and sponsorship rights, acquisition of sports clubs and offshore vehicles and transactions, through the establishment of a clearing house or similar system, at both national and international levels; and
In the case of Sports Betting Integrity, to:
  1. Promote the adequate regulation of the sports betting market worldwide and commit to prevent and combat all forms of illegal sports betting in order to eradicate sports betting fraud and match-fixing, while recognising sports competitions organisers’ rights and safeguarding the integrity of sports competitions and the economic viability and social role of sport;
  2. Encourage governments and sports bodies to enact the necessary laws and regulations, and their harmonised development and concerted implementation and monitoring, including the establishment of national integrity units, codes of conduct on sports betting integrity and robust prevention/ education policies targeting all key participants in sport, in particular the most vulnerable ones, the young people; and
3. Support the establishment of an independent betting monitoring platform,  capable of providing sport integrity intelligence alerts to sporting, law enforcement, betting regulators and operators and government stakeholders to assure early warning advice on corrupt practices, potential manipulation of sports competitions and/or illicit methodologies and criminal networks activities, as well as to ensure the basis for adequate cooperation and information sharing providing reliable, accurate and independent data for sports disciplinary procedures and evidence for criminal prosecution. SIGA commits to work collaboratively towards the swift endorsement and implementation of the Core Principles and the development of its Alliance to create a bold new space for governance reform to take hold. SIGA is conceived as an independent and neutral coalition, led by the sporting industry and supported by key stakeholders, committed to using best practice, universal standards and creative global solutions to usher a new era in the governance and integrity of sport.   Madrid, 7 April 2016  
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The editors of  the Journal Sports Law & Taxation are Professor Ian Blackshaw and Dr Rijkele Betten, with specialist contributions from the world's leading practitioners and academics in the sports law and taxation fields.

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Managing editor
Dr. Rijkele Betten

Consulting editor
Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw

Editorial board

Prof. Guglielmo Maisto
Maisto e Associati, Milano

Dr. Dick Molenaar
All Arts Tax Advisors, Rotterdam

 

Mr. Kevin Offer
Hardwick & Morris LLP, London

Mr. Mario Tenore
Maisto e Associati, Milano

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