Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Vienna: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) were at the forefront of the world’s leading sports organisations which gathered at the Safeguarding Sport from Corruption conference hosted by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria.
The AFC’s active participation in the two-day global forum reinforces the huge strides undertaken in the areas of good governance and integrity and is an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the UNODC in December last year.
The conference was aimed at presenting a platform for Member States, sports organisations and relevant stakeholders to discuss the progress on the implementation of resolution 7/8 on corruption in sport, as well as other efforts in safeguarding sport as they relate to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The resolution represents a significant milestone in addressing corruption in sport, not least the fact that it was supported by 183 State parties and covers a wide range of issues, including illegal betting, whistleblowing, good governance and competition manipulation.
In his opening address, Yuri Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director said: “UNODC, through its Global Programme on Safeguarding Sport from Crime and Corruption, responds to the need for multi-stakeholder approaches for standard-setting and capacity-building.
“Building and developing sustainable partnerships is an essential part of our efforts. More broadly, UNODC is engaging with the international sports community, including the Asian Football Confederation, FIFA, the International Cricket Council, the Tennis Integrity Unit, and UEFA, among others.”
The conference, which concluded on Wednesday comprised a combination of panel sessions which facilitated presentations and also provided participants opportunities to engage in broad discussions, exchange information and clarify key concepts.
Among the high-profile speakers were BenoÎt Pasquier, General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs of the AFC, who shared his opinions on the legal and law enforcement issues around fighting corruption in sport.
In presenting his recommendation to UNODC and the Member States, BenoÎt Pasquier said: “In order to strengthen law enforcement measures to tackle corruption in sport, law enforcement bodies should consider the importance of working hand in hand with sporting bodies to fight corruption and crime in sport as it will enhance their investigating powers in this specific area. The reputation of sport is at stake.”