European Online Networking Session to facilitate exchange of information and experience in addressing the manipulation of sport competitions

Strasbourg 12 October 2021
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European Online Networking Session to facilitate exchange of information and experience in addressing the manipulation of sport competitions

The Keep Crime Out of Sport + (KCOOS+) project of the Council of Europe is back full speed with a rich variety of activities scheduled until December 2021. These activities include the update of the Macolin Club House, national and international facilitation meetings (e.g. workshops, webinars, or bilateral technical assistance), as well as capacity and confidence building fora with a strong international and global perspective.

As a regional capacity and confidence building forum, the European Online Networking Session was organised on 8 October 2021, as a National Platform peer-to-peer workshop with inputs from key European stakeholders. We mean by “National Platform” the key national hub described in Article 13 of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions, dedicated to the co-ordination of the fight against competition manipulation at national level. Key stakeholders addressing the manipulation of sport competitions include public authorities (those responsible for sport, for the regulation of games, law enforcement and prosecution) as well as private entities, such as sport and betting actors.

The aim of the networking session was to facilitate exchange of information and experience in addressing the manipulation of sports competitions. A key element of the peer-to-peer workshop format allowed for interactive participation as well as input from National Platform representatives and partners, to share experiences on their indispensable work on implementing the Macolin Convention. The online event was organised around two main sessions, namely on best practice examples from National Platforms and co-operation among public, sport and betting stakeholders.

Among the best practice examples, the 40 participants from across Europe had the chance to get inspired by the set-up of the Hellenic Epathla National Platform, the French legal measures of establishing jurisdiction, the operation of the Belgian Sports Fraud Team as well as the stakeholders’ collaboration on UK’s risk assessment procedures. The session was followed by lively discussions on the organisation, prevention, detection and sanctioning of competitions’ manipulation.

The second part of the online event allowed key stakeholders such as the European Lotteries, Global Lottery Monitoring System, UEFA and the French betting operator, FDJ, to share good examples on co-operation mechanisms. In the field of prevention, the French awareness-raising action and whistleblowing tool triggered fruit for thoughts. In the field of monitoring, the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) and its operations on the detection of suspicious betting activities as well as the UEFA’s Anti-Match-Fixing Initiative promoting collaboration between football associations and public and betting stakeholders were shared to stimulate ideas for National Platforms in possible collaborations.

‘’Our National Platform, which means ‘price or award’, with two layers of involvement of key stakeholders, facilitating the effective implementation of the Macolin principles, can provide guidance and inspiration for others in the possible organisation of a National Platform.’’ said Georgios Mavrotas, the Secretary General of Sport of the Ministry of Culture and Sport from the Hellenic Republic, Chair of Epathla, who was among the presenters.

The European Online Networking session was one of a series of online events that facilitates co-operation for accelerating the implementation of the Macolin Convention principles. A joint IOC and Council of Europe webinar will be organised on 27 October on the role of National Olympic Committees within a National Platform and a joint GLMS and Council of Europe webinar will take place in December to strengthen the collaboration between representatives of National Platforms and National Lotteries for addressing the manipulation of sport competitions.

About KCOOS+

The Council of Europe launched KCOOS+ in 2018 to support public authorities and national actors involved in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions. It is intended to accompany legislative, institutional, and professional actors wishing to align themselves with the objectives and values of the Macolin Convention.

The KCOOS+ project is fully funded by voluntary contributions provided by: Australia (Department of Health), Cyprus (Cyprus Sports Organisation), Denmark (Ministry of Culture), France (ARJEL, FDJ, Ministère des Sports, NOC), Norway (Ministry of Culture) and Switzerland (Office fédéral du sport-OFSPO), as well as by the World Lotteries Association and the European Lotteries.