Safeguarding Sport from Corruption in Southeast Asia

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Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 15-16 May 2023 -  More than 60 representatives from anti-corruption entities, criminal justice authorities, governments, sports organizations, and private sector from the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) participated in a two-day workshop organized by UNODC entitled, “Safeguarding Sport from Corruption and Economic Crime.”

Held in cooperation with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the event was hosted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

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The workshop included discussions and interactive activities aimed at building capacity and knowledge on a range of topics including:
-        Competition manipulation
-        Detection and reporting of corruption offenses
-        Illegal betting
-        Corruption risks during major sport events
-        Good governance of sport
-        Organized crime in sport
-        Abuse in sport
-        Corruption and crime associated with the transfer of athletes.

The opening ceremony of the workshop was attended by Her Excellency, Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Malaysia, Mr Timo Goosman, Head of Political Affairs, Press and Information of the EU Delegation in Malaysia, and Dato’ Hafaz Nazar, Director of Policy, Planning and Research Division, MACC. In her speech, the Minister shared the challenges of safeguarding sports from corruption in Malaysia due to red tape and bureaucracy in obtaining approval for competitions, and due to the centralization of discretionary power in the hands of the Minister, and how she has endeavored to change these practices. She also expressed her interest in the workshop and affirmed her interest in implementing the outcomes in Malaysia.

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

The overall purpose of the regional workshop was to enhance operational cooperation, coordination and information, awareness raising and communication between relevant actors. The knowledge acquired during the workshop will help the beneficiaries from ASEAN countries deliver on future work on tackling corruption and crime in sport.

This second regional workshop was part of the activities implemented by UNODC under the project “Safeguarding Sport from Corruption: Asia and the Pacific” (2019-2023) and funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture (DG EAC).

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Other Useful Links:

  • A description of an Offshore Financial Crimes Investigation training conducted in Malaysia in February, 2023 can be found here.
  • A summary of activities by the UNODC Anti-Corruption Team in Southeast Asia is publicly available via our website here.
  • UNODC Safeguarding Sports from Corruption and Economic Crime resources are available here.