Published: Fri, 29 November 2013
The latest match-fixing revelations in which an international ring is suspected of involvement targeting English football with conspiracy to defraud, further proves the need for a ban on ‘negative betting’ according to Sean Kelly MEP.
The former GAA President made the remarks following confirmation from the UK’s National Crime Agency that two men have been charged while five others were released on bail as the investigation continues.
“It is alleged that this international crime ring offered match-fixing services across Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, the World Cup and World Cup qualifiers. The Daily Telegraph investigation recorded a meeting in which the criminals said they could control referees in these international games. It is another reminder of the corruption in sport – which we urgently need to tackle,” Mr Kelly said today.
Six people arrested earlier this week following a Daily Telegraph investigation that appeared to show a fixer explaining how he could influence the outcome of matches by paying players £50,000 STG to guarantee a minimum number of goals in secretly recorded meetings. A seventh man was arrested on Thursday, the NCA said, and he and four others were bailed pending further inquiries.
Kelly’s EU crackdown on sports corruption
At EU level, Mr Kelly has successfully tabled proposals for more stringent measures in order to cut down on corruption in sport, notably by banning so-called ‘negative betting’.
The MEP has underlined that the fight against match-fixing and other forms of sport fraud has to be focused on law enforcement, education and prevention as well as good governance of sport bodies.
As a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, Mr Kelly co-signed and tabled a number of key amendments to a report on Online Gambling in the internal market which calls for a strengthening of EU-wide policy.
Most sporting clubs operate under a Code of Conduct, which should implicitly ban all staff, players or coaches from betting on their own matches or events according to Mr Kelly.
“I also want sporting federations and gambling operators to include in a Code of Conduct a ban on betting on so-called negative events such as yellow cards or penalty kicks during a match or sports event,” the Fine Gael MEP said.
Mr Kelly has also agreed with the proposal for a global body to combat match-fixing which would provide a worldwide platform for relevant bodies to meet and coordinate action.
“We need a committed global approach to stamp out this illegal activity. I would also call on the Commission to establish minimum sanctions for such criminal offences at EU level.”