Match-fixing in sport which has led to serious media and public reaction must to eliminated by firm and targeted policy, according to the Sports Minister of Bulgaria, which currently holds the European Union presidency.
Krasen Kralev was opening a first session of EU sport integrity expert group (where the NMC is an observer), which is part of the new EU’s Sport Work Plan running until 2020. Sport and Media is one of three major strands of the work plan, including a major conference under the Croation presidency in the first half of that year.
Andrew Moger, Executive Director of the News Media Coalition today (April 23rd) addressed the session, in Varna, by drawing attention to role of the news media sector in ‘independently reporting on the good and bad of sport’.
He said: ‘Integrity in sport is necessarily part of the broad spectrum of sport issues addressed by major publishers and news agencies. Through their news operations, those Members of the News Media Coalition, act as witnesses on behalf of the public to what occurs in an around stadia, as well as within the corridors of power.’
‘In this forum and within the EU work plan, we are keen to hear and contribute to ideas about how the role of the news media in relation to sport and public access to independent information via news coverage can be sustained and supported, where necessary.’
The role of the news media has been acknowledged by a number prominent public policy declarations in recent years including the UNESCO International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and the 2016 Takkula Report; “…stresses that sport bodies should ensure necessary access and news-gathering opportunities at all sport events for independent news media to fulfill their role as important and critical observers of sport events and administration of sports.”
Mr Kralev said: ‘Match-fixing and unfair play alerts in sport have been provoking serious media and public reactions for quite a long time now. Of course, due to its huge popularity, football is most often in the focus of the attention.
Unfortunately, in our days, suspicions for corruption, match-fixing, manipulations, use of doping cast a blight on joy and emotions that sport brings. I would like to note that at national level the Bulgarian Football Union also makes serious efforts in the fight against match-fixing
However, it is very important to disseminate the efforts the world football family makes to other sports. Because this phenomenon harms not only team sports, such as football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, handball, rugby, and cricket, but also individual sports like boxing, tennis, motorsports, equestrian, cycling, figure skating, etc.
As there are suspicious matches even during the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee is also involved in this issue.
Practice shows that no sport is insured against frauds and that different manipulation methods exist – with the involvement of athletes, coaches, referees or other stakeholders. And we should work very seriously with all potential participants in this process in order to cease and eliminate it from the map of sport’.