Speakers at the opening event of the two-day Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) Inter-Regional Summit, have called for maintaining integrity in sports and pledged to fight against several corrupt practices in sports.
HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali was among the dignitaries at the event being held at Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
Qatar has always been on the forefront to ensure integrity in sports and has taken several initiatives in this regard, said Mohamed Hanzab, chairman and CEO, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and the vice chairman of SIGA, while welcoming the gathering.
“ICSS is a fully independent body and discharges its responsibilities impartially. We were the first one to establish a chair of ethics in sport with Sorbonne University. It took two years of research to show the impact of corruption in sport. The research shows that about €500bn is used for betting in sports yearly and 80% of it is illegal. An amount equivalent to $140bn is used for money laundering in sporting events,” he pointed out.
“We have also launched a sports integrity unit, an independent sports integrity hotline. And so far we have received 200 cases from all over the world. People can use the hotline from anywhere in the world and in any language,” he added.
The official also noted that Qatar always leaves a legacy and is innovative in its approach. “The 2006 Asian Games Village was later converted into a medical facility. We are hoping for a better legacy for 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar has also announced a National Sport Day,” he said.
“Sport is a key pillar of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. We believe in sport and its power to bring people together. Regional co-operation is integral in combating corruption in sport,” said HE Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways Group chief executive and secretary-general of Qatar National Tourism Council, in a video message.
“We, at Qatar Airways, have been a strong supporter of SIGA since day one. Our strategies and values are aligned with SIGA. Qatar has positioned itself as a hub of major sporting event. We will always stand with SIGA. With one voice, we must aim to achieve the highest level of integrity, transparency and accountability in sports,” said Salam al-Shawa, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications, Qatar Airways.
“Our proposal at SIGA is a public-private proposal. We aim at promoting global binding rules on sport integrity. To enjoy the autonomy of sport, sport must be crime free. Organised crime diversifies its action and sport is not immune. We are discovering the new changing strategies of organised crime. We must cut the financial roots of crime,” exhorted Franco Frattini, chairman, SIGA.
“We support the ICSS and would like to support SIGA in all its endeavours as we believe there is much to be done for the future of sport - sport is the greatest promoter of culture and it can move people all over the world,” stated Bilal Erdogan, president, World Ethnosport Confederation.
Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani, chief business officer, Ooredoo, said that sport brings people together and integrity in sports is a key factor to be prevailed.
“The commercial success of sport and its values are at stake. We come here to Doha, to share and learn; to spur and encourage the change. I ask you to join us in the fight for sport integrity. Otherwise there is no cultural or economic impact,” added Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, executive chairman, SIGA America while delivering a keynote address on the topic ‘Collective action and the
global push for sport integrity’.