The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) is building on the momentum of last month’s Sport Integrity Forum and General Assembly, where several new members were welcomed to SIGA’s growing network of support.
On 27 July, at the Palácio Foz in Lisbon, the Alliance of European Football Coaches Association (AEFCA), MediaCom, Parkour Earth and SafeSport USA became fully fledged members on a historic day for SIGA, where Italian judge Franco Frattini was appointed the first-ever Independent SIGA Chair. In addition to adopting SIGA’s reform agenda, members from the sports industry will commit themselves to following the SIGA Universal Standards during an agreed transitional period.
SIGA also welcomed its latest committed supporters: Luna Global – represented by President and CEO David Luna, retiring Senior Director of the US State Departments and Chairman of OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, as well as the Portuguese Association of Sporting Press (CNID) – represented by its President, Artur Madeira, and JCIC International – represented by Founder and Managing Director Jeannie Cameron.
SafeSport USA was represented at the General Assembly by CEO Shellie Pfohl, who was previously the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Pfohl is also currently a member of the SIGA Ad Interim Council and can be heard speaking about the significance of SafeSport USA becoming a member of SIGA below.
Parkour Earth interim CEO Eugene Minogue was also present in Lisbon to sign the organisation’s membership to SIGA. Parkour Earth was recently founded by six national parkour federations, which, for the first time, provided parkour with an International Federation. The organisation will be the sole governing and administering body for the sport internationally. Given the recent decision by the UK to recognise parkour as an official sport, this is a particularly exciting time to have Parkour Earth working closely with SIGA.
Misha Sher, Worldwide Vice President of Sports and Entertainment, was present on behalf of global media agency MediaCom, whilst AEFCA was represented by President Walter Gagg. Given the increasingly important role of coaches both in facilitating sport but also in shaping young athletes, as well as the recent salience of the issue of youth protection in football, AEFCA’s membership is a significant step for SIGA. Given the powerful role that media, communications and sponsorship play in representing and promoting the sporting industry, SIGA is also delighted that MediaCom have committed to becoming a member.
Discussing the importance of promoting integrity in sport, Misha Sher said:
“All of us privileged enough to be working in the sports industry have a responsibility to promote its best interests. Transparency and integrity should be at the core of everything we do as organisations to ensure that we never undermine the trust of our commercial partners and millions of supporters around the world. I commend SIGA for its commitment to addressing this important area and for encouraging all industry stakeholders to embrace its vision.”
New committed supporter David Luna, who is the President and CEO of Luna Global, as well as the departing Chair of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade and Former U.S. Diplomat to the U.S. Department of State, spoke of SIGA and its importance to his own organisation:
“The governance and security challenges facing sport globally are both profound and complex. In recent years, corruption and criminal scandals such as those involving sporting bodies have reminded us of their adverse harms to the integrity and credibility of sport. SIGA is taking decisive leadership within the international community through collective action, public-private partnerships, and whole of societies approaches in promoting the highest standards and values of honest governance, integrity, transparency, and accountability.
“The purity in sport and the fair play in the administration of sport are noble ideals that should not be corrupted. SIGA’s commitment is critically important to vigilantly protect sport integrity for the benefit of all communities and future generations.”
The importance of adding new members and new supporters to continue to build on the recent momentum was reiterated by SIGA Coordinator Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros:
“These signings continue to show that SIGA is only going from strength to strength. Not only do these increasing numbers demonstrate the growing depth of support, but they also show the extent of its breadth. It is wonderful to see that SIGA’s values and proposed reforms are echoed within and beyond the sporting community and I am fully confident and excited for what SIGA can and will achieve. Indeed, in a sporting era in urgent need of reform, this growth in support signals an encouraging push for change for safeguarding the integrity of sport. SIGA would like to extend its warmest welcome to these new members and looks forward to working together in this new capacity.”