Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Match-fixing and corruption in sport

Delivered in Plenary - 14th March 2013

Mr President

If there is anything all of us in the EU share, it is a love of football. We certainly do not always agree on the same clubs, but people follow football with a passion, from London to Poland. We owe it to the football fans across our constituencies to ensure that criminally-fixed matches are prevented and the legitimacy of the game is upheld everywhere.

While we must encourage the governing bodies of the sport to increase monitoring and certify that matches are played fairly, we must also take legal action against those responsible for this corruption of the sport. Such criminal acts cannot be tolerated anywhere within the European Union and we must address them accordingly, with severe punishment. The extent of this corruption and the apparent size of the criminal network behind it are of great concern. We must take appropriate measures in every Member State in agreement with a response to prevent the further perversion of the course of justice, not only for the sake of football, but also to uphold the legal standards of the Union of which we are all members.