News 8 April 2016

ICSS launches Sports Integrity Global Alliance

The International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) launched the Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) at a meeting hosted by the Spanish Sports Council in Madrid yesterday. In statement issued by the ICSS today, SIGA is described as an ‘independent and neutral coalition’ that has been formed in response to calls ‘for the establishment of a global, independent and neutral sport integrity body’. The ICSS announced that it planned to create SIGA at its Securing Sport event in New York last year.

SIGA is designed with ‘the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of sport and will work to drive forward key reforms across good governance and financial transparency in sport’. A  similar 15 April 2015 ICSS agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is designed to help ‘develop a number of programmes to support the fight against match-fixing and illegal betting, as well as safeguarding major sport events against corruption’. A more recent agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) will ‘help encourage the development of a global independent, neutral, multi-stakeholder integrity alliance for sport’.

SIGA is intended to be that alliance. Its membership includes many of the people listed as participating in the discussions in New York last year, as well as many of the ICSS’s historic supporters. However the ‘personalities’ listed as supporting SIGA have been expanded since November. It now includes:

• João Paulo Almeida, Director General of the Portuguese Olympic Committee;
• Simon Greenberg, Head of Global Rights, News Corporation;
• Danny Kanzandjian, General Manager, the Rugby League European Federation;
• Joel Lange, Managing Director, Dow Jones;
• Brian Lewis, President, the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee;
• David Cruickshank, Deloitte’s Global Chairman;
• Alfredo Lorenzo, Integrity and Security Director, Spain’s La Liga;
• Leonard McCarthy, Vice President, the World Bank;
• Rick McDonnell, Executive Director of ACAMS (Association of Chartered Anti-
Money Laundering Specialists) and former Executive Secretary of FATF (Financial Action Task Force);
• Lars-Christer Olson, President of the Swedish Football League;
• Sir David Richards, Senior Vice President of England’s Football Association;
• Michael Robichaud, Senior Vice President, Global Sponsorship, MasterCard;
• Javier Tebas, President of the Spanish Football League.

In total, over 50 organisations are represented in SIGA, who have signed 12 principles ‘which, if fully adopted throughout the industry, would see the implementation of the highest of standards on good governance, financial and sport-betting integrity in sport’. These include:

• The establishment of an independent betting monitoring platform, capable of providing sport integrity intelligence alerts to sporting, law enforcement, betting operators and government stakeholders to assure early warning advice;
• The establishment of independent monitoring, audit and oversight in relation to all sport-related development programs and financial transactions
• The establishment of international financial integrity standards, appropriate financial reporting, audit and compliance practices, a strong ‘culture of compliance’ and full transparency in the allocation, distribution, use and scrutiny of sports development and solidarity funds;
• Maintaining a consistent zero-tolerance policy across the sports industry towards all forms of corruption, bribery and illicit financial dealings;
• Implementation of the highest governance standards, including but not limited to monitoring of potential conflicts of interest, risk management procedures, gender equality at the board level, independent directors, meaningful stakeholder representation in the decision-making organs, transparent and accountable financial management and proper oversight;
• Assess to existing club ownership regulatory frameworks and develop fit and proper club owners and directors’ tests.

“The sport community can achieve a higher level of financial integrity and governance through the universal adoption of best practices and standards that other industries and sectors have implemented”, said David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global Chairman. “The Core Principles offer a starting point for creating a comprehensive system to reform sport in a way that we can all be proud of, and one that will serve sporting organisations, sponsors, athletes and fans for the long-term.”

The ICSS was established in 2010 and formally launched in 2011. It is understood to have an annual budget of US$20 million, more than the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) $17.8 million budget for 2016. The ICSS is currently 70% funded by the Qatar government, however it has plans to become self-sufficient by 2018. “The Qatar government has nothing to do with it at all”, ICSS President and founder Mohammed Hanzab told the Sports Integrity Initiative in November. “The ICSS is my initiative, the liability is on me. It is true that it is 70% funded by the Qatar government and 30% is funded through projects we run. I have a plan with my team that we will be self-funded in two years […] I have said to many people, if you can secure me the 70% from other governments, from other foundations, then I will be happy, as I will be a free man and I will not face this question wherever I go.”

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