The Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Task-Force signed a declaration of intent in their battle against match-fixing.
The declaration was signed by the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport Chris Agius, MFA General Secretary Bjorn Vassallo, MFA Vice-President Dr Chris Bonnett, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Dr Jason Azzopardi, the Opposition spokesperson for Sport David Agius, Police Commissioner Michael Cassar, KMS Chairperson Dr Luciano Busuttil and Malta Gaming Authority Executive Chairperson Joseph Cuschieri.
We, the national stakeholders in the fight against corruption in sport, declare that we are prepared to do everything within our power to eradicate any form of abuse from Maltese sport. Sport has very strong roots in Maltese society and culture, and therefore it is our duty to make sure that its integrity is preserved. Sporting results must not be decided in advance, and the outcome of a sporting contest must remain unpredictable till the very end of the same. Only in this way can public confidence in Maltese sport be maintained and nurtured.
However, we must take cognisance of the fact that the very essence of sport is being threatened by criminals who have the single aim of making illegal monetary gain out of the fixed outcome of sporting competition. We operate in the knowledge that these criminals are not only local but form part of large international criminal organisations. These people have got nothing to do with sport and it is our duty to make sure that such persons are banished from the local sporting scene.
It is our firm belief that the manipulation of sports results, and in particular match-fixing, can be beaten through the close collaboration of the sporting community, the Government and Opposition, law enforcement officials and the gaming authority.
We believe that in order to protect the integrity of sport and eradicate sports fraud we have to act on:
EDUCATION & PREVENTION:
Provide a better understanding through education programmes both for our school children and young athletes in order to them to grow in a safe and fair environment; Enhance awareness of the problem and empower players, coaches and referees to recognise, resist and report attempts of corruption and manipulation in sporting competitions;
LEGISLATION & REGULATION:
Effect necessary amendments to the law make the fight against the manipulation against sports competitions more effective; Provide regulations to be applied by all Maltese sports organisations so that sports manipulation is treated as a serious offence across all sporting disciplines;
Allow Maltese law enforcement officials to be better equipped in the fight against sports manipulation in order to obtain prosecute criminals engaging in the manipulation of sports competitions.
All stakeholders are hereby binding themselves to do their part in order to achieve the goals set out in this declaration of intent and to follow the timeline which will be set out in the National Strategy against Sport Manipulation.