The European Commission plays an active role in combatting match fixing, as part of wider efforts to ensure that competitive sports are fair and their reputation is not compromised. This takes place through the coordination of EU legislation in related areas, plus cooperation with key international bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Council of Europe on ways to tackle match fixing at a European and global level.
Match fixing is an international phenomenon and is often linked to gambling, with criminal networks exploiting unregulated gambling markets. This presents a major threat to the integrity of sporting events, with sportspeople subject to considerable financial temptations and pressure to influence sporting objectives and outcomes.
The Commission is implementing the 2011 anti-corruption package.
Its 2011 Communication on sport, the Commission noted that match fixing was an issue for the integrity of sport. To improve its knowledge of how national criminal law provisions applied to match fixing, a study of criminal law provisions in the Member States was conducted in 2012.
The 2011 Green Paper on Online Gambling, partially based on the consultation of a thematic workshop on sport integrity and online gambling, included issues related to the integrity of sport, leading to the adoption of the Communication “Towards a comprehensive European framework on online gambling” in 2012.
The Commission also adopted a Communication on the participation of the EU in the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in 2012, as well as launching the Preparatory Action 'European Partnership on Sports'.
This included funding for projects focusing on the prevention of match fixing through the education and information of relevant stakeholders, such as athletes, referees, match officials, and sports administrators.
The Commission plans a Recommendation on best practices in the prevention and combating of betting-related match fixing in 2014.