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MEPs support UEFA's match-fixing stance

UEFA President Michel Platini has congratulated the European Parliament after MEPs backed UEFA's key aims in the areas of betting and match-fixing in a vote in Strasbourg today.

Flags of European Union nations outside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg
Flags of European Union nations outside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg ©AFP

The European Parliament has today backed all of UEFA's key aims in the areas of betting and match-fixing following a vote at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg.

UEFA President Michel Platini said: "I am delighted with this report and would like to congratulate the European Parliament for standing firmly on UEFA's side and against the criminal powers that orchestrate match-fixing in Europe. Through working together we can put a stop to the biggest threat facing the future of sport in Europe."

The resolution voted through by MEPs calls for measures to protect the integrity of sport through cross-border cooperation between sports organisations and relevant public bodies. Importantly, it recognises the added value an EU-wide approach can have in the area of online betting. It also specifically recommends penalising betting fraud as a criminal offence throughout Europe.

The parliament's resolution on online gambling calls for the recognition of sports organisations' property rights to their competitions through a fair financial return from betting organisations. France is the first country in Europe to have enshrined this right in law. Ultimately, this ensures cooperation between sports organisers and betting companies, which leads to more transparency, better monitoring and control mechanisms, and can help to fight money laundering through betting.

The European Commission adopted a green paper on online gambling in the internal market in March this year, which launched a consultation process on, among other points, match-fixing. The resolution voted through today sets out the European Parliament's position on the commission's green paper.

The parliament is the latest political body to join UEFA's efforts to combat match-fixing. The Council of Europe adopted a resolution on match-fixing in September. Mr Platini also addressed European sports ministers on the subject at their meeting in Krakow in October. Poland's presidency of the European Union aims to have combating match-fixing included in the EU Council conclusions later this year.

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