The Rapid Response and Special Police Services, National Bureau of Investigation, the National Tax and Customs Administration together with CSCF-Foundation for Sport Integrity co-organized an awareness raising session on combating sport manipulation and match fixing in the framework of Integrisport Erasmus+ from 12th to 14th of November in Budapest.
During the 3-day training organized specially for members of the Hungarian Police, as well as the National Tax and Customs Administration, the Hungarian Prosecution Service and judges of the Hungarian Criminal Court, within the EU co-funded project, participants had an open discussion on sport manipulation and match fixing and how this phenomenon has been affecting Hungary. International experts including the Vice Federal Prosecutor of the Belgian Federal Prosecution Service and representatives from the EU Athletes and Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and from the coordinator of Integrisport Erasmus+, CSCF-Foundation for Sport Integrity. animated the exchange. Their contributions were accompanied by national expertise from the Hungarian Football Federation, the Hungarian Football Player’s Union, the Hungarian Lottery, Szerencsejáték Zrt, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Hungarian Prosecution Service.
The Hungarian Police and CSCF-Foundation for Sport Integrity also informed the participants of the activities of the Hungarian National Platform related to the Council of Europe Convention on Manipulations of Sports Competitions including international co-operation.
As Lt. Colonel Zita Zmolnik, Deputy Director of the National Investigation Bureau, said in her opening speech: “National and international law enforcement and judicial co-operation, and the common thought of relevant public stakeholders and the private sector, are vital in order to successfully fight against this special type of crime phenomenon.” In order to combat sport manipulation, law enforcement and judicial authorities need to be prepared. This is where Integrisport Erasmus+ has an important role: by providing awareness raising to law enforcement agencies, which is crucial to achieve this aim.
Norbert Rubicsek, director of CSCF and Integrisport Erasmus+ project manager added, “Law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities are the primary stakeholders involved in the investigative and court phases of criminal law cases of manipulations of sports competitions. It is therefore extremely important that on the one hand they are well prepared and informed and on the other hand, that other stakeholders fully understand the role of these key stakeholders. Law enforcement and judiciary are the link to completing the chain in a sports manipulation criminal case and are also a vital link in identifying legislation that needs to be in place to effectively combat manipulations of sports competitions.
The Integrisport Erasmus+ awareness raising sessions in each partner country give law enforcement officers and judicial authorities the possibility to better understand and tackle the dangers of sport manipulation to sport and the society. Project partners include Cyprus Police, Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS), Rapid Response and Special Police Force – Hungary, National Tax and Customs Administration – Hungary, Ministry of Security and Justice – the Netherlands, The Department of Physical Education and Sports – Lithuania, Ministry of Justice – Judicial Police – Portugal, Presidium of the Police Force, Ministry of Interior – Slovak Republic, GLMS – The Global Lottery Monitoring System, EU Athletes, Aix-Marseille University – Centre of Sport and the coordinator, Stichting CSCF – Foundation for Sport Integrity and the Council of Europe (CoE) as a supporting organisation. Integrisport is also a partner project of the KCOOS+ project of the CoE.
The next awareness raising session will be held in Vilnius in December 2019.