EU to set up a level playing field to stop match-fixing

The European Parliament has agreed plans to co-ordinate legal measures right across the EU as part of a Europe-wide legal clampdown on match-fixing and money laundering in sport.

Local Labour Euro MP and Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Friends of Football group, Arlene McCarthy said: “We need to take action at a Europe-level to put a stop to these activities. At the moment under European criminal law there’s no common definition of the crimes involved, so match-fixers engage in ‘forum shopping.’  They can move their business to those countries with low sentencing and low detection standards.”

“Sport is a multi-billion euro industry but there just isn’t the appropriate level of public scrutiny and in place. We need a proper Europe-wide legal framework in the fight against match-fixing and corruption in sport.”

“Over recent years we have seen a number of high profile cases involving match-fixing. This has now become a major problem across all Member States of the European Union.” 

The definition of match-fixing varies. Some EU member states impose minimum fines of 100 euros while others have a maximum prison sentence as low as four years.

 “FIFA and UEFA have been co-coordinating their work combating organised crime and match-fixing in football.” She added.

“It is important for the EU to take the lead and allow for cooperation between individual Member States, sports organisations and betting operators and associations. Match-fixing is a blight on the integrity and ethics of sport and must be recognised as a serious form of corruption.”

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