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Match-fixing: PACE calls for mechanisms to combat a ‘problem posing a threat to public order’

Strasbourg, 25.04.2012 – Expressing its concern at the scale of manipulation of sports results, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today called for the adoption of mechanisms to limit the risk of match-fixing, illegal betting and other forms of corruption. This problem and the illicit profits from sports betting are "jeopardising public order and the rule of law".

Acting on the proposals of the rapporteur, Anne Brasseur (Luxembourg, ALDE), the Assembly adopted a resolution which calls on governments to "’prohibit betting on those competitions most vulnerable to attempted corruption", namely specific youth competitions, amateur competitions and, for some sports such as football, lower-division professional competitions. They should also work with betting operators to introduce procedures for detecting suspicious betting.

Since only ten countries world-wide have passed legislation sanctioning sports fraud, the 47 Council of Europe member states should "adapt their legislative frameworks and ensure their harmonisation", while acceding to the relevant international instruments.

International sports federations should act together in a co-ordinated manner to combat match-fixing, prohibit sportspeople and officials from betting on competitions in which they are involved, and draw up guidelines to ensure that sportspeople undergo awareness-raising and training. The national federations should themselves "conduct a regular examination of the decisions taken by match officials and judges".

Lastly, the resolution urges sports betting operators to co-operate with the public authorities and sports authorities and bodies by systematically reporting any suspicious operations and refraining from offering opportunities to place bets regarded as "very risky", with high initial stakes and long odds.