Hungarian conference on the fight against manipulation in sport

On the 20th March the Hungarian ENGSO-member, the Hungarian Competitive Sport Federation (HCSF) held a conference in Budapest on the fight against manipulation in sport.

The event was co-organised by HCSF, the State Secretariat for Sport in the Ministry of Human Resources and the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

When talking about the purpose of the event, Zoltán Bóné, General Secretary of HCSF explained that both HCSF and the Hungarian Olympic Committee work on safeguarding the integrity of sport as one of their main tasks defined by law.

Among other topics, the conference participants got acquainted with sport manipulation in football, the legal and structural environment of sport manipulation, the illegal modification of technical tools in sport and a case study on the efficiency of the monitoring activities of FIFA and the Hungarian Football Association.

Among the speakers there were representatives of AIPS (the International Sport Press Association), the Hungarian Sport Journalist Association, the Hungarian anti-doping body and the Hungarian ministry responsible for sport.

Gianni Merlo, President of AIPS, sent a video message to the conference participants. He drew a shocking picture about the current situation regarding corruption in international sport:

“Corruption is trying to take over sport. The scandals which have shaken FIFA, IAAF and the IOC have brought to light terrible situations which we’d never imagined.

The corruption in the federations has opened the way to an even more serious evil - match-fixing, the manipulation of results.

We’re going through a very delicate time. Criminal organisations have realised that their intervention in sport is almost without risk and highly remunerative. There are few states that have laws to fight this phenomenon and so match-fixing is spreading like wildfire. The federations, infiltrated by corruption, are weak, the manipulation of the results is easier.”

He also expressed his opinion on the European Code of Sports Ethics:

“There has been a European Code of Sports Ethics since 1992 but it’s virtually ineffective. An official document was produced; in this way, no-one could say that it hadn’t been discussed at top level but it was only a smokescreen for the fault of everyone, including governments, for having done little or nothing to safeguard ethics, the main pillar supporting sport.”

After talking about the disappointing reality, he concluded his message on a positive note, encouraging all stakeholders to join the fight for the integrity of sport:

„It’s our right to defend and restore ethics because a sports world that moves towards self-destruction could have very serious social consequences, there are millions of jobs on the line. We have to analyse further the negative phenomena to beat them. And we have to act quickly.”

The conference was a success, and along with Mr. Merlo, many participants expressed their gratitude to the organisers for putting together such a great event.

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