Following a request by its Ministry of Sport, Austria’s Council of Ministers decided in January to sign up to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Manipulation of Sports Competitions. The Convention was officially signed by Austrian Minister of Sport Hans Peter Doskozil on 2 June 2016, as part of an international conference being held in Vienna.
“Match-fixing is a danger to sport as we know it, and threatening its very integrity,” Doskozil commented. “By signing the Council of Europe’s Convention, we are taking the fight against betting fraud to an international level. I’m proud Austria has been one of the countries pioneering the fight against betting fraud. In our Play Fair Code, we have had a key point of contact in place since 2012 for anyone involved in this issue.
The aim of the Convention on Manipulation of Sports Competitions is to prevent, uncover and impose sanctions upon betting fraud in sport, while continuing to develop measures raising awareness, and organize courses teaching athletes tactics for dealing with the situations potentially involved. In addition to this, a ‘National Platform’ is being set up, to be supervised jointly by the Play Fair Code and the Federal Criminal Police Office. This is designed to push forward with the cooperation between sporting associations and the authorities responsible. The investigative and judicial authorities are also to be networked more strongly, and international coordination improved further in the fight against match-fixing.
Play Fair Code President Günter Kaltenbrunner said the following: “This is just one more milestone on Austria’s path to beat the manipulation of sport, and to save its integrity. Our thanks must go to Minister Doskozil and his predecessors, who focused on implementing the right strategies in the field of prevention at an early stage by setting up one of Europe’s leading institutions of its kind, the Play Fair Code.”
Executive Secretary EPAS Stanislas Frossard, continued: “Play Fair Code is an original initiative to mobilize and connect stakeholders and governmental authorities in charge of sport, to prevent and fight match-fixing. It is implementing some of the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, which was signed by Austria, and especially regarding the setting up of the Austrian National Platform. Play Fair Code activities are connected with other national and international projects against the manipulation of sports competitions and its work is recognized in particular in the fields of prevention, awareness-raising, risk assessment and stakeholder co-ordination.”