May 8, 2017
Sport is a global phenomenon which engages billions of people and generates annual revenues of more than US$145 billion. Corruption in sport has many forms. Referees and players can take bribes to fix matches. Club owners can demand kickbacks for player transfers. Companies and governments can rig bids for construction contracts.
Organised crime is behind many of the betting scandals that have dented sport’s reputation. And money laundering is widespread. This can take place through sponsorship and advertising arrangements. Or it may be through the purchase of clubs, players and image rights. Complex techniques are used to launder money through football and other sports. These include cross-border transfers, tax havens and shell companies. However attempts to stop corruption in sport are still at an early stage.
Governments and other leaders at the Summit signed up to the communique, stating:
“We will work with international sports organisations and other key stakeholders to support and strengthen
efforts to implement high standards of transparency and good governance, and to underpin the wider fight to eliminate corruption from sport. We will encourage good governance within national sports organisations (including through educational and capacity building initiatives) and improve information sharing between international sports organisations and law enforcement agencies. We will take legislative or other measures to combat practices such as match-fixing, illegal betting and doping, and will put in place measures to protect ‘whistleblowers’ from discriminatory and retaliatory actions. We will consider extending the definition of Politically Exposed Persons to include senior members of international sporting federations”
At the Anti-Corruption Summit the UK promised to “continue to work with international sports bodies, other countries and international organisations to develop an International Sport Integrity Partnership”.
The International Sport Integrity Partnership was launched in Lausanne at the International Forum for Sport Integrity in February 2017.
This initiative is now known as the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS). In December 2018, IPACS held its 4th steering committee meeting in London, which was organised by the UK Government, as well as the first IPACS summit. In July 2019 IPACS decided to set up a new task force to increase cooperation between criminal justice authorities/law enforcement and sport organisations.
Information about the December 2019 IPACS General Conference, organised by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, can be found here.