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Scenario 6: Corruption in sport

Sport plays a crucial role in people’s lives but also plays a huge role in economic development.

The global value of the sports industry has been estimated at 756 billion US dollars annually. But the impact of COVID-19 on sports has been immense. The pandemic resulted in an unprecedented disruption to the international sporting calendar. People lost their jobs and income which affected teams, broadcasters and advertisers, suppliers, retailers, the tourism sector, stadium staff, food vendors and countless others.

As sport organizations fight for survival, the pandemic has led many to face difficult situations and also opened the door to those who look to exploit the situation for illicit gain, including criminal groups and corrupt actors.

To RECOVER with INTEGRITY, it is essential for sport to be able to continue advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that it emerges from the pandemic as strong as possible.

Actions taken by governments and sport organizations to protect sport from these additional threat through these difficult times, include implementing commitments made through the adoption of relevant resolutions and ensuring that resources and support provided to sport during the pandemic are used for their intended purposes and not diverted for illicit gain.

Key to this is ensuring that good governance measures are in place in sports organizations in order help reduce and mitigate corruption risks and the associated inequalities and injustice which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

It is equally important to ensure that anti-corruption regulations, policies and legislation are in place and implemented. Relevant national authorities should be provided with the assistance, resources and support required to effectively tackle corruption and crime in sport. To this end, it is important to develop effective cooperation frameworks between law enforcement, criminal justice authorities and sport organizations.

Such efforts would be enhanced through the development and implementation of reporting mechanisms in sport, which would also require relevant leadership to act upon reports of wrongdoing.

Strengthening integrity in sport is essential to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19. Only by recovering with integrity can it remain a force for development and peace.

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