The manipulation of results is a practice with a great impact on the sports environment and there are already several cases reported by the media, such as the "Apito Dourado" case or more recent operations carried out by the Portuguese Criminal Police (PJ) like "Jogo Duplo" and the "Matrioskas" case. Marcelo Moriconi, a researcher at CEI-IUL, coordinates a study aimed at boosting the efficiency of policies against match fixing in sports, by investing in training and information sharing in the field.
It is clearly necessary to draw the attention of public entities to this matter because the solution must involve several stakeholders and entail the sensitization and training of agents in the field with tools for this fight. The launch of the European project Erasmus+ "Training on Protected Reporting System for Professional and Grassroot Sport" served as a first step to discuss these issues and was attended by several experts in the field.
Luís Ribeiro from the PJ, explained that the regulation against sports corruption implemented in Portugal in 2007, after the ‘Apito Dourado’ case, was insufficient to enable the Criminal Police to work properly and punished this activity in a much less severe way. The current law, implemented in 2017, has brought improvements to the legislation, and has provided regulators with instruments to combat the manipulation of results more effectively in comparison to some European laws.
João Paulo Almeida, Director General of the Portuguese Olympic Committee, also draws attention to the European Commission's harsh suggestion that "sports institutions cannot be governed” and hence the need to sensitize various players in the field to make it possible combat this practice. José Lima of the PNED (National Plan for Ethics in Sport) also says that the key is to focus on the formation of citizenship still at school age, concentrating on training, education and awareness towards sports ethics from the very youngest cohort in sports onwards.
The activities are beginning to be developed among the partners of this study and the next public action is scheduled for next year (2019) which will try to gather together in the same debate academics, sports federations and clubs, athletes, members of the government and civil society.
Text by Raquel Silva
Editing | Research Support Office