Brussels, 27 September 2018 – The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) held a Special Session on “The Role of the European Union in Safeguarding the Integrity of Sport” in Brussels on 26 September 2018 to launch the opening of its new Representation Office.

The event was well attended, with many current and former leaders of the sporting industry, global business and the political sphere taking the floor to support SIGA.

Marisa Fernandez-Esteban, Deputy Head of the Sport Unit at the European Commission, welcomed SIGA and told participants that the Commission placed great significance on integrity. She said: “Last year 16 million people participated in events across Europe as part of the European Commission’s drive to promote active living during the European Commission’s Week of Sport. Good governance is a pre-condition for providing financial support to sports governing bodies. Achieving good governance is an ongoing process and is fundamental for sport.”

Former UK Minister of Sport, Richard Caborn, shared some of his perspectives on achieving sport integrity: “Do not underestimate the power of Europe to develop sport integrity. As a former minister of Sport in the UK I understand how sport can be used to deliver what other departments couldn’t: education; health and social inclusion.”

Antonio Silva, former Director in the Directorate-General of Education & Culture in the European Commission, warmly welcomed the opening of the new Representation Office. “I commend SIGA for the hard work over the last three years. You have created a remarkable framework for sports integrity and the European Commission has the good intentions – now is a time for synergies and collaboration between both”.

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA stated: “The EU has come a long way in recent years to put more emphasis on the role of sport to achieve it’s political, economic and cultural objectives. It’s new Sport Action Plan 2017-2020 provides a vehicle for making further progress, and SIGA is well positioned to complement this work through its convening power, thought leadership and constructive collaboration. I am proud to open the new SIGA Representation Office in Brussels. With this, we deliver what we promised and prove we mean business.”

Senior representatives from UNESCO, La Liga, Starlizard, ICSS INSIGHT, Quest, Sport & Citizenship, the Federation of European Sports Goods Industry and several member organisations of the House of Sport, as well as ESSA, Sportradar and several EU member-States were amongst the other distinguished participants and supporters of SIGA’s initiative.