Corruption in sport
Denmark is a strong advocate of an EU ratification of the Macolin Convention against the manipulation of sport competitions (match-fixing). Meanwhile, the Sports Confederation of Denmark has been proactive in setting up rules among the Nordic countries on the mutual recognition of sanctions in relation to match-fixing and will continue to advocate for more countries to join this effort.
The commitment proposes no concrete actions but rather states a continuation of relatively unspecified advocative efforts by the Sports Confederation of Denmark. However, the commitment covers the specific and narrow area of corruption in sports and commits to advocating for more countries to join the corporation. For this reason, the commitment is still assessed to be sufficiently specific.
While the lack of specificity in the commitment somewhat impairs the potential to measure implementation, the proposed advocacy efforts in the commitment may be construed as measurable through a more qualitative and interpretive approach. Hence, the commitment is selected for monitoring despite the comparatively low degree of feasibility (as derived from specificity and measurability).
Denmark has supported the EU ratification of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions) (the Macolin Convention) in many ways. The Keep Crime out of Sport (KCOOS+) project launched by the Council of Europe is funded voluntarily and includes financial contributions from Denmark.1 The Group of Copenhagen elaborated on this with Typology Framework of Sports Manipulations in June 2020.2 Denmark also invited the council’s member states to discuss future steps toward ensuring the EU’s full participation in the convention in an information note from May 2019.3 As of June 2020, the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) implemented a new regulation to increase the minimum sanctions in cases involving match-fixing in a Danish context.4 The DIF director expressed the need for political support and inclusion of other actors to ensure efficient investigations.5 Building on the joint Nordic regulation on match-fixing from 2018, DIF expressed the need for increased global cooperation in their new match-fixing strategy in January 2019,6 where DIF committed to working toward global mutual recognition of sanctions through the IOC.7
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
The relative lack of specificity in the commitment is, to some degree, detrimental to the feasibility of effective implementation. Without more specific ends, it becomes difficult to properly assess the quality, effectiveness and validity of means and therefore also challenging to evaluate the state, outcome and impact of implementation.
Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation
We welcome DIF’s match-fixing strategy but recommend the development of a concrete action plan that assures its effective and accelerated implementation.
Investigation of suspected cases of match-fixing in Danish sports is currently conducted by DIF. This raises significant concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest as Danish sports is overseen and monitored by DIF who can have interests in match-fixing due to activities including but not limited to talent development. The Danish Anti-Doping Agency has expressed an interest in taking over the task, an idea that Transparency International Denmark is in favour of, especially due to the agency’s formidable track record in the field as secretariat of the Danish National Platform under the EU Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.
There is a need for stronger collaboration between Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, as well as other similar betting organisations and DIF to identify risks and potential violations of match-fixing regulations. Additionally, it is recommended that a special whistleblower function is established for suspicions of match-fixing.
Since match-fixing takes place in all kind of sports, it is recommended that each association within DIF and Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association develops an action plan on how to identify, report and monitor match-fixing. It is crucial that all potential match-fixing cases are investigated and dealt with by a professional agency, such as the Danish Anti-Doping Agency. No internal investigation should be allowed.
- Council of Europe, The Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (the Macolin Convention), https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/manipulation-of-sports-competitions15 May 2019
- Council of Europe, Typology Framework of Sports Manipulations, https://www.coe.int/en/web/sport/typology2020
- Council of Europe, Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-8796-2019-REV-2/en/pdf15 May 2019
- DIF, Om forbud mod manipulation af idrætskonkurrencer (matchfixing) og tilsvarende uetisk adfærd, https://www.dbu.dk/media/13513/lovregulativviiimatchfixingndret04102014-2.pdf
- Idrættens Analyseinstitut, DIF vil rejse flere matchfixingsager med frit lejde, https://www.idan.dk/nyhedsoversigt/nyheder/2020/b324_dif-vil-rejse-flere-matchfixingsager-med-frit-lejde/23 June 2020
- DIF, Du bestemmer over dine data, https://www.dif.dk/da/politik/nyheder/nyheder/2018/september/20180914_matchfixing_norden8 September 2017
- DIF, Nyt udspil skal bremse aftalt spil i idrætten, https://www.dif.dk/da/politik/nyheder/nyheder/2019/01/20190126_matchfixing26 January 2019