MEPs call on the Commission to combat corruption in sports by introducing common penalties

The European Parliament approved a resolution that asks to the European Commission to combat corruption in sports by introducing common penalties for match-fixing. The resolution also urges the European Commission to identify third countries with a view to stepping up collaboration to combat organised crime linked to illegal betting and match-fixing.

MEPs adopted in plenary session a resolution that calls on everyone involved in sports in fighting against match-fixing, including sports organisations, police, judicial authorities and gambling operators, should better coordinate their efforts by exchanging information and sharing their most successful tools against corruption in sports. They highlighted that member states should also set up national bodies to improve coordination and information exchange. In February 2013, Europol announced that it was investigating a suspected extensive criminal network involved in widespread football match-fixing.

In addition, the text calls on member states to set up joint investigation units to take out illegal and anonymous betting websites across the EU. Circulating the names of people involved in corruption cases would help to prevent them simply shifting their illegal business to another EU country, MEPs suggest.

Parliament also proposed a code of conduct for all players, referees and technical staff, measures to protect minors and national education programmes as input to a Commission recommendation on how to prevent and combat match-fixing, set to be adopted next year.