Press release - AP 047(2012)

PACE committee says harmonised laws against match-fixing now ‘urgent’

Strasbourg, 07.03.2012 – Harmonised laws to combat ‘match-fixing’ came a step closer yesterday when a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unanimously called on the Council of Europe’s 47 member states to draw up a convention – or binding international treaty – against match-fixing and illegal betting.

PACE’s Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, meeting in Paris, said the need for such a legal instrument was now “urgent”. It pointed out that the manipulation of results and illicit profits from sports betting “jeopardise public order and the rule of law”.

In a draft recommendation, based on a report by Anne Brasseur (Luxembour, ALDE), the committee noted that a “feasibility study” into a possible convention, finalised last month by Council of Europe experts, could form the basis for fresh laws.

Listing a series of specific measures to combat match-fixing that could be taken in the meantime, the committee also proposed a ban on betting in competitions “vulnerable to attempted corruption”, such as lower-division professional football matches and under-18 or amateur competitions.

It also called for “sports fraud” be made a criminal offence, more work with betting operators to identify suspicious bets, and training for young athletes in the risks of accepting money for altering their performance.

Full text of the report – provisional version (PDF)

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