Some of the world’s major sporting bodies have called on the European Union to establish a global anti-corruption agency in order to protect the future of sports from unscrupulous bookmakers.
According to a piece in The Telegraph newspaper that appeared on Saturday, the Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC), which includes influential representatives from football, rugby and cricket, made the recommendation in a report delivered to the European Union following a meeting in Brussels last week.
The SROC, which includes FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the International Rugby Board, identified sportsbetting corruption as being a greater threat to the integrity of sports than doping. It wants the establishment of an agency that would be able to use state powers of investigation and force strict licensing on bookmakers. Ultimately, the authority would have the power to exclude nations that did not comply from major tournaments such as the World Cup.
'The meeting in Brussels saw the international sports community unite to urge politicians to apply the same focus to tackling betting corruption as they have to doping,' the newspaper quoted an adviser to the British National Governing Bodies Of Sport as stating.
'Just as the fight against doping turned the corner when every country's government signed up to take action, a similar approach is needed with sports betting. This means that an approach similar to that taken by the World Anti-Doping Agency is needed. Match-fixing is worse than doping because it is cheating to lose, rather than cheating to win.'