IntegriSport Erasmus+ project (2019-2020) came to an end with its closing event organized by project co-ordination, CSCF Foundation for Sport Integrity, on Wednesday 10th March, on the topic of sports manipulations and criminal activities impacting sports. The event was hosted and opened by the Portuguese EU Presidency and included keynote speeches from the Portuguese Judicial Police, Interpol and interventions by the project partners, including national law enforcement, GLMS, University of Aix-Marseille and EU Athletes.
“Based on the fact-finding work in this project and on my own experience, there is a clear need to make the issue of manipulation in sport a bigger priority in the Netherlands in order to fight it effectively!” was the key message by Mr. Chiel Warners, Information Coordinator/Program Director Match-fixing of the Ministry of Justice and Security in the Netherlands. Due to the current circumstances and to ensure the protection of the health of all participants, CSCF together with the host Ministry, decided to carry out the event entirely online. In this way, the session brought together prominent speakers both nationally and internationally with expertise in the application of the law in the context of sport, sport policy, sport betting, virtual currencies as threats of sports manipulation, and athletes against sport manipulation, inter alia.
As has been the case with previous IntegriSport Erasmus+ awareness sessions in each of the six other partner countries, this seminar offered law enforcement officials and judicial authorities a unique setting to exchange experiences as well as to leverage knowledge and cooperation on how to address activities that fundamentally undermine the integrity, value and credibility of sport. As a result, Mr. Warners, as coordinator of the Dutch National Platform, emphasised that “this IntegriSport session was only the first where it comes to the sharing of experiences and knowledge. As soon as circumstances permit, it will be followed up with more in-depth, case-based discussion held face to face.”
Furthermore, Norbert Rubicsek J.D., former Lieutenant Colonel and now director of CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, emphasised “the importance of cooperation between law enforcement agencies and private organisations such as those representing athletes, the sports movement and the world of betting to understand the different point of views, but the mutual goal of fighting against the manipulation of sports competitions”.
On behalf of IntegriSport Erasmus+, CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity, as the project coordinator, would like to extend a special thanks and appreciation to the guest speakers and project partners: Global Lottery Monitoring System – GLMS, EU Athletes, Ministry of Justice and Security in the Netherlands, The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the Dutch Police, the Federal Prosecutor ́s Office of the Kingdom of Belgium and Netherlands Public Prosecution Service. These discussions were vital in engaging law enforcement with relevant stakeholders and better identifying various operational and cooperation issues.
INTERPOL also intervened in support of IntegriSport, highlighting the need for law enforcement to use police and judicial cooperation channels to expand intelligence gathering and education. The session also benefited from the valuable participation of FIFPRO World Players’ Union, Financial Intelligence Unit – the Netherlands (FIU), Gaming Authority, Instituut Sport Rechtspraak (ISR), the Royal Dutch Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB), the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Dutch Olympic Committee & National Sport Federation, Dutch Lottery (Nederlandse Loterij), NL Sporter, CFK, academics and the Belgian Federal Police.
Last but not least, we would like to mention that the IntegriSport journey does not end here but continues with IntergriSport Next (2021-2022)!