02 October 2017; London: Corruption continues to manifest its pernicious effects across our societies, tainting the institutions that many of us hold dear, and eroding integrity in too many sectors and industries. Sport is no exception.
The past few weeks have seen, once again, the worst of sport’s dirty laundry being washed under the glare of the world’s media. Allegations of vote buying on an industrial scale have been matched by stories of International Sports Federations staging palace coups against their senior executives in an attempt to seek better governance. Sports fans around the world have been confronted with shocking headlines about corrupt administrators within the sport that they love, who now face potential jail sentences.
Sport is in real danger of losing its credibility and the trust of the very people it depends on – the public and the hundreds of millions of fans around the world. There has never been a greater need for sport to reform and better govern itself. The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) feels that the time for action is now. Change is necessary, and SIGA is committed to uniting stakeholders and driving a cohesive plan of action, through dynamic collective strategies and strong partnerships, to safeguard the integrity of sport in the immediate future.
Confidence in organisations like the IOC and FIFA is crucial in overcoming the current good governance problems the sports industry is faced with. We are ready to work with the IOC, FIFA and indeed all sports organisations, with the support of our diverse set of members, to anchor a new trust in sport and drive forward effective reforms for the entire sports community.
SIGA, which is an independent and neutral coalition, has grown considerably since becoming a legal entity in January this year, and now has over 100 members and supporters committed to SIGA’s Universal Standards on good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity. At the most recent SIGA Sport Integrity Forum in Lisbon, renowned Italian judge and former Vice- President of the European Commission Franco Frattini was appointed as the independent SIGA Chair.
With members coming globally from both inside and outside the sports industry, and from across all sectors and industries, SIGA is strategically positioned to unite all major stakeholders and drive reform in areas of governance and integrity. SIGA understands the fundamental challenges facing the integrity of sport and is committed to promoting the highest standards of fair play in the administration of sport, particularly in the areas of good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity.
SIGA will continue to work towards creating a new era in sport, moving collectively to implement, across the community of sport, SIGA’s Core Principles for Sport Integrity and the corresponding Universal Standards. These Universal Standards are designed to advance the highest level of good governance in sporting organisations, underpinned by the guiding concepts of democracy, transparency, accountability and stakeholder representation.
Whilst the current corruption taint has put sport in a desperate position, it also provides an important opportunity to usher in a new era of upholding integrity in sport, where all organisations are united behind the same common goal. Change is on the horizon.
SIGA would welcome the prospect of working with the leading authorities in sport and anti-corruption. Through the development of SIGA, we will preserve the integrity of sport, safeguard its positive values and vital role for the benefit of all citizens and future generations, and reduce and eliminate the harmful impact that corruption poses to sport and all communities.
There is simply no place for corruption in sport. We will work together to restore trust.
Notes to Editors
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SIGA is an independent and neutral coalition of more than 100 international multi-industry members and supporters. It is the only organisation to bring together sport, governments, academia, international organisations, sponsors, business, rights holders, NGOs and professional services companies, from every region in the world, around a common cause of fostering greater integrity throughout sport.
SIGA’s members and supporters include Mastercard, Deloitte, the European Professional Football Leagues, Dow Jones, PwC, the World Bank, the International Centre for Sport Security, the Basel Institute on Good Governance, the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, Special Olympics, the Spanish Football League, the Portuguese Olympic Committee, eSports, World Taekwondo, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and World Snooker.