Corruption in sport is a serious problem that should be tackled at an EU level, according to a written declaration signed by 399 MEPs. "Match fixing and illegal betting kill the very spirit of sport," said one of the authors of the written declaration, Polish EPP member Tadeusz Zwiefka. However it is not only about fairness, but also about fixers' connections with organised crime, he said.
What MEPs want
The MEPs are calling for a large-scale study on corruption in European sport, focusing especially on links between organised crime and illegal betting, sport agents, referees, club officials, sportsmen.
If a sports event doesn't seem a "true and fair competition, the game itself is of no value, causes no emotion and is nothing more than a dirty business," Mr Zwiefka said.
MEPs want the European Commission to regulate online betting in order to combat match fixing and ensure fairness in sport. Sport is an EU competence following the Lisbon Treaty. "This issue has to be tackled on the European level because the problem exists not only in one or two member states, but in many countries," Mr Zwiefka said. "In my own country we had big problems with corruption in football. Now, with the Lisbon Treaty we can do something more about it."
What else is going on with sport?
MEPs are scheduled to discuss a report on the European dimension in sport during the November plenary. The report will focus on the fight against doping, racism, fraud, match fixing and the promotion of voluntary activity in sport, the protection of minors and environmental protection.
a text of 200 words maximum
on a matter falling within the EU's sphere of activities
if signed by at least half of the MEPs (368) it is adopted and forwarded to the institutions named
so far this term 19 written declarations have been adopted