What is it about?

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, and cooperation with key international bodies on ways to tackle match fixing at a European and global level.

Why is it needed?

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.

What has been done so far?

In 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 led to the adoption of the Communication “Towards a comprehensive European framework on online gambling” in 2012, where integrity of sport and match fixing is one of the five priorities identified. Following on from this, two further studies on betting-related match fixing were carried out and published in 2014.

A number of match fixing projects were financed in 2012 as part of the Preparatory Actions in the field of sport 2009-2013. Since 2014, match fixing projects have been eligible for financing through Erasmus+.

Together with European Commission departments for migration and home affairs (DG HOME), and growth and internal market (DG GROW), a call for proposals for the pilot project "New integrated mechanisms for cooperation between public and private actors" was launched in 2014. The four projects selected will complete their work in 2017.

The Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions is a key political tool, which is open to the EU and the Member States. The Commission submitted the proposal for the EU signing the Convention to the Council in March 2015, and will continue to try to resolve the blockage.

The EU Expert Group on Match Fixing (under the 2014-2017 work plan) considered the state of play of the fight against match fixing in the EU and exchanged best practices on prevention, detection, sanctions and cooperation.

What are the next steps?

The Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) combats match fixing through its sport actions.

The 2017-2020 work plan on sport includes an expert group on integrity in sport, also covering match fixing.