Birkbeck Sport Business Centre provided research support for Match-Fixing project

The fight against corruption in sport is growing in prominence and no longer an issue for consideration simply by sport organisations alone.

Birkbeck Sport Business Centre has been providing research support for the UK chapter of Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the fight against corruption in a vast variety of sectors in more than 100 countries, on a project researching the current range of anti-match fixing education programmes across British sport.

As part of the European Commission commitment to the field of sport, and particularly to the issue of combating match-fixing, the Commission, under the 2012 Preparatory Actions for Sport, selected five projects which run throughout 2013-14 which are aimed at at raising awareness about the problem and educating the relevant stakeholders on how to tackle it.

One of the projects which has been initiated is Transparency International’s ‘Staying on side: How to stop match fixing’, which aims to develop educational and prevention programmes and materials that can be used by the football leagues across Europe to address all target groups including young players, professionals, and match officials.

In a ‘Corruption in Sport’ event held on 3 June, organised by Transparency International UK, Birkbeck Sport Business Centre’s Sean Hamil was key speaker, and panellist alongside Andy Harvey, another member of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre who is himself working on a parallel research project on match-fixing in football.

Sean Hamil at the ‘Corruption in Sport’ conference

Sean gave an overview of the phenomenon, presenting the key responses from different organisations in the main UK sports outlining how they tackle the problem, drawing on  research conducted by Birkbeck’s Research Associate Haim Levi. Sean suggested that sporting organisations in general, and football governing bodies in particular, should adopt a unified, more comprehensive, set of codes and rules,  with all the affected stakeholders collaborating and cooperating to tackle the issue of match-fixing more efficiently. A particular challenge is that many match-fixing operations are organised by sophisticated, and highly dangerous and violent, criminal syndicates, and this poses particular problems when seeking to address the problem. 

For a blog post on the seminar by James Maton and Antonio Suarez-Martinez (from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP of the Law portal ‘Lexology’, click here

For fuller details of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre’s research activities on the subject of anti-match fixing please visit the Anti-Match Fixing project webpage.

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