ICSS highlights the global challenge of protecting

August 08, 2012: The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), the not-for-profit organisation that specialises in sport security and integrity, today highlighted a number of emerging issues in the field of sport integrity.

Speaking at a press conference held at Bayt Qatar – the official House of the Qatar Olympic Committee during the London 2012 Olympic Games – Mohammed Hanzab (President of the ICSS), Chris Eaton (Director of Sport Integrity of the ICSS) and Lord John Stevens (Chairman of the ICSS Advisory Board and Former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police), outlined the global challenge currently facing sport administrators in their fight against corruption.

The ICSS presented examples of recent manipulations in sport results and highlighted the most vulnerable sports and regions. They also discussed the best possible solutions and the gaps and challenges delaying their implementation.

As well as exploring emerging issues in sport integrity, the ICSS also announced the 1st ICSS Sport Integrity Symposium which will bring together leading international integrity practitioners and decision-makers in sport. The event, developed in partnership with the Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), takes place in Paris from 11th – 13th September 2012. It aims to support the global sporting community to effectively counter corruption by sharing knowledge and enhancing current integrity strategies and processes.

Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said; “Breaches of integrity not only damage sport’s values, but shape its popularity, business and sponsorship viability and even its survival.

As part of a recent agreement with the Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne, the ICSS is creating a central hub for knowledge gathering and information sharing with international sport federations. We will also be running a joint research initiative with the ultimate goal of achieving the international harmonisation of standards and regulations associated with match-fixing, doping, illegal betting, and all aspects of sport integrity.

“On behalf of the ICSS, I hope that the shared knowledge and programmes that result from this partnership and the 1st Integrity Symposium will provide sport administrators and government authorities with a clear framework to safeguard players, referees, umpires, administrators and fans.”

Chris Eaton (Director of Sport Integrity, ICSS) said; “The globalisation and commercialisation of sport has increased significantly over recent years, with many major sport events now taking place across different jurisdictions and involving many different stakeholders around the world.

“There is a critical need to acknowledge the criminal scope and gravity of corruption in sport and to work together to address the challenge on an international level, across jurisdictions. At the ICSS, we aim to drive thinking and provide sport bodies with the solutions and tools they need to protect the integrity of sport.”

The ICSS is an international, not-for-profit institution that aims to help event organizers to stage safer major sporting events. The Centre’s mission is to enhance security and integrity in the world of sport by proactively addressing real issues and providing best-in-class training, research and tailored advice. The ICSS team brings together some of the world’s leading sport security and integrity experts and has access to a worldwide network of specialist practitioners, offering expertise in every aspect of sport security and integrity. The ICSS is based in Doha, Qatar, an emerging centre for global sporting events including the 2006 Asian Games, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ the 2011 Pan Arab Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

The organisation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee to collaborate on safety and security planning, capabilities and infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. At the 2nd International Sport Security Conference, that took place on the 14 – 15 March 2012, the ICSS announced partnerships with two leading academic institutions to help tackle the emerging threat of match fixing and extreme behaviour exhibited by sports fans. As part of the ICSS’s partnership agreement with Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne, the two organisations will oversee the creation of a new central hub for gathering knowledge with international sporting federations to promote and support global sporting integrity.

In addition to this historic agreement, the ICSS has signed an MOU with the Institute for Fan Culture (IfF), a new academic institution led by Professor Harald Lange (Dept. of Sport Science at the Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg). The MOU will examine why fans exhibit extreme behaviour within a sporting environment, and what can be done to proactively reduce such behaviour at sporting events. The ICSS regularly organises events to encourage the creation of sport security and integrity networks and to drive new thinking. Further details will be announced shortly about the 3rd International Sport Security Conference, taking place in 2013. —- Wil Shand Verocom

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