Safeguarding sport from corruption in the Pacific region: UNODC delivers first workshop as part of EU-funded project in Asia and the Pacific

Auckland, 26 October 2022 – As part of ongoing efforts to support governments and sport organizations to tackle corruption in sport, UNODC’s Programme on Safeguarding Sport from Corruption and Crime, this week convened a workshop on the manipulation of sports competitions and sports events for the Pacific region.

The event was hosted by the Government of New Zealand, with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and World Rugby, through the generous financial support of the European Union.

More than 40 representatives from criminal justice authorities, law enforcement and sports organizations from the Pacific region (Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, Palau, Samoa, South Korea, Tuvalu, and USA) participated in the two-day workshop, which saw active engagement in fruitful discussions and interactive activities aimed at building capacity and knowledge on a range of topics.

Participants looked at areas including competition manipulation, illegal betting, corruption risks during major sport events, good governance of sport, organized crime in sport, and corruption and crime associated with the transfer of athletes.

This first regional workshop was part of the activities implemented by UNODC under the project “Safeguarding Sport from Corruption: Asia and the Pacific” (2019-2023), funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture (DG EAC). The project focuses on the organization of capacity-building initiatives for the benefit of selected governments and sport organizations from across the Pacific region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Gulf States.

With a focus on match-fixing and the prevention of corruption in sports events, the project looks to raise awareness of the risks associated withing these areas. The project will ultimately facilitate exchange of good practices to mitigate corruption risks in sport among governments, sports organizations and other relevant stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.  

As a way forward, participants identified recommendations to enhance operational cooperation, coordination and information sharing, education, awareness raising and communication between the relevant actors. The knowledge acquired during the workshop will help the beneficiaries from the Pacific region deliver on future work on tackling corruption and crime in sport.