“Match fixing is a big problem all over the world and not healthy for sport. It’s important that the Nordic Council focuses on the issue and the Region shows the way, making it more difficult for match fixers to relocate their activities to other Nordic jurisdictions,” according to Annette Lind of the Social Democratic group.Match fixing is a big problem all over the world and not healthy for sport. It’s important that the Nordic Council focuses on the issue and the Region shows the way, making it more difficult for match fixers to relocate their activities to other Nordic jurisdictions.
Match fixing is a global problem and the members of the committee want to send a clear signal that the Nordic countries need to work together to combat it. On 10 April, the Theme Session in Akureyri, approved the proposal that the Nordic Council of Ministers should back the national Olympic committees and sports federations in their efforts to make the Nordic Region the first part of the world to establish a system for mutual recognition of sanctions against match fixers.
New Swedish legislation shows the way
Parallel with the political process, it is also important that the Nordic countries look at other ways of addressing the issue. A new bill in Sweden proposes harsher punishments for match fixers, the people who exert influence on sportspeople and those who bet on matches that have been fixed.
“As well as tighter legislation, the rules about gambling in Sweden are also being changed. For example, international betting companies will need to apply for licences, which will provide an extra measure of control over match fixing," says committee member Peter Johnsson.I hope that the rest of the Nordic Region will follow Sweden’s example.
The hope is that national initiatives and experiences like these will spread throughout the Region.
“Now that Sweden is tightening up on match fixing legislation, I hope that the rest of the Nordic Region will follow suit,” Annette Lind points out.
Betting companies play an important role
The national Olympic committees and sports federations work closely together on rules covering the whole of the Nordic Region, but the committee stresses that the state-run gaming companies also have an important role to play with their system and are in a position to safeguard against fixed matches and monitor any incidents.
The proposal was submitted by the Social Democratic Group. It will now be sent the proposal to the full Nordic Council for consideration.