Procedure : 2013/2567(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0131/2013

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/03/2013 - 5
CRE 14/03/2013 - 5

Votes :

PV 14/03/2013 - 8.11

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0130/2013

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on match-fixing and corruption in sport (2013/2567(RSP))

Rebecca Harms, Malika Benarab-Attou, Rui Tavares on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on match-fixing and corruption in sport (2013/2567(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Nicosia Declaration of 20 September 2012 on the Fight Against Match-Fixing,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM(2011)0012),

–   having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2012 on the European dimension in sport(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2012 on an EU approach to criminal law(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on the integrity of online gambling(3),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2011 on online gambling in the Internal Market(4),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 23 October 2012 entitled ‘Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling’ (COM (2012)0596),

–   having regard to the Commission White Paper on Sport (COM(2007)0391),

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 24 March 2011 on on-line gambling in the Internal Market (COM(2011)0128),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2005 on combating doping in sport(5),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Fighting Corruption in the EU’ (COM(2011)0308),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 on the EU’s efforts to combat corruption(6),

–   having regard to the preparatory action entitled ‘European Partnerships on Sport’ and in particular to the collection projects focusing on the prevention of match-fixing incidents through the provision of education and information to relevant stakeholders,

–   having regard to the Commission Recommendation for a Council Decision Authorising the European Commission to participate, on behalf of the EU, in the negotiations for an international convention of the Council of Europe to combat the manipulation of sports results (COM(2012)0655),

–   having regard to the Council of Europe convention of 19 August 1985 on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and to its Anti-Doping Convention of 16 November 1989,

–   having regard to the Recommendation of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers of 28 September 2011 on promotion of the integrity of sport to fight against manipulation of results, notably match-fixing,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas a Europol joint investigation team (JIT) code-named ‘Operation Veto’ revealed widespread football match-fixing in recent years, with 680 matches deemed to be suspicious globally, including 380 matches in Europe, and whereas it described a wide‑ranging match-fixing network that struck at the sport’s core, with 425 people under suspicion and 50 others having been arrested;

B.  whereas these figures are merely the ‘tip of the iceberg’, while sports industries are estimated to generate an aggregate income of several billion euros annually;

C. whereas a large number of Member States have been affected by match-fixing, which is a cause for serious concern since it is related to organised crime and is a major source of risk to the sporting establishment in practically all the Member States; whereas corruption in sport can extend to competent authorities, ultimately undermining people’s trust in the effectiveness of democratic institutions in preserving the rule of law;

D. whereas match-fixing is a lucrative business for criminal organisations given the high revenues it generates and the disproportionately low sentencing and detection rates; whereas the Member States do not adopt a uniform approach to match-fixing, with only some of them having incorporated measures in this area into their criminal code;

E.  whereas criminal organisations are operating on a large international scale and have connections across the globe, such that no single institution, country or organisation would be able to tackle match-fixing on its own;

F.  whereas all sports can be affected and the integrity of sport is at risk of being ruined; whereas sporting activities are essential for recreational, educational and other purposes and perform a positive socio-cultural function;

G. whereas good governance standards in sport, such as the ban on betting on one’s own sport, regular payment of salaries to players, financial stability and transparency, are essential in order to prevent match-fixing and corruption;

1.  Calls on all the main stakeholders individually to take responsibility and to develop a comprehensive approach by complementing one another’s efforts to combat match-fixing in sport;

2.  Asks the Commission to develop a coordinated approach to the fight against match-fixing and organised crime by coordinating the efforts of the main stakeholders in this area and by providing a platform for discussion and for the exchange of information and best practice;

3.  Calls on sports organisations to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, both internally and externally, in order to prevent their members from being liable to external pressure;

4.  Urges sports organisations to establish a code of conduct for all those involved (players, coaches, referees, medical and technical staff and club, association and federation presidents) which sets out the dangers of match-fixing, stipulates the sanctions for involvement in it, includes a ban – accompanied by sanctions – on gambling on own matches and an obligation to report any awareness of match-fixing, coupled with an adequate whistleblower protection mechanism, and envisages the possibility of fines against clubs for failing to enforce the code of conduct or to prevent match-fixing;

5.  Encourages sports organisations to start up comprehensive prevention programmes entailing clear obligations for clubs, leagues and federations, and to set up a disciplinary body to deal with match-fixing;

6.  Requests the Member States to include a harmonised definition of sport fraud / match‑fixing in their criminal legislation, with full respect for the principles of proportionality, individual guilt, legal certainty, non-retroactivity, ne bis in idem and the presumption of innocence; notes, however, that difficulties in prosecuting match-fixing tend to be more of an operational than a legal nature; calls on the Commission to support the exchange of information and best practice between Member States in order to improve the enforcement of anti-match-fixing rules;

7.  Calls on the Commission to develop standards for gambling operators to notify national competent authorities on irregular gambling patterns, in line with applicable data protection standards;

8.  Welcomes the ongoing discussions on a possible Council of Europe convention to combat the manipulation of sport results, which will provide national systems with the necessary tools, expertise and resources to address this problem;

9.  Calls on the Member States to enhance law enforcement cooperation through joint investigation teams and cooperation between prosecution authorities; stresses the need for measures to combat illegal betting websites and anonymous betting, while acknowledging that match-fixing can occur through the misuse of legal means;

10. Calls on the Member States to set up national (government) regulatory agencies (like the Gambling Commission in the UK) to combat illegal gambling activities and corruption; stresses the need for close cooperation with other regulators, including licensing authorities and bodies such as the police;

11. Stresses the urgent need to establish a multi-stakeholder body in order to collect, exchange, analyse and disseminate evidence of match-fixing, sport fraud and other forms of corruption in sport, both in Europe and beyond; considers that this body should also compile best practice in the fight against corruption in sport and promote concepts of good governance in sport; notes that the first opportunity to discuss this may be the Fifth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS), to be held in Berlin in May 2013;

12. Urges the Commission to communicate, and establish cooperation, with third countries with a view to combating the organised crime associated with match-fixing;

13. Welcomes the publication by the Commission of an Anti-Corruption Report, accompanied by country analyses for each Member State and including tailor-made recommendations (from 2013 on);

14. Encourages the Council to pursue the aims of the EU Work Plan for Sport for 2011‑2014, insisting in particular on the development of education programmes in the Member States with a view to raising awareness of sporting values such as integrity, fair play and respect for others;

15. Welcomes the new sport chapter within the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport 2014-2020, insisting on the value of sport, especially grassroots sport, in promoting integration;

16. Insists on good governance in sport as an essential component in the fight against match‑fixing;

17. Welcomes the Commission’s initiative with a view to the adoption in 2014 of a recommendation on best practices in the prevention and combating of betting-related match-fixing;

18. Calls on the Commission to identify countries that raise specific issues as regards betting‑related match-fixing in respect of sports events taking place within the EU and to increase its collaboration with those countries in the fight against match-fixing;

19. Calls on the Commission to establish a global forum against match-fixing, in which all the relevant actors can meet, exchange information and coordinate their action;

20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and European, international and national sporting federations.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0025.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0208.


OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 30.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0492.


OJ C 33 E, 9.2.2006, p. 590.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0388.

Last updated: 12 March 2013Legal notice