Media Releases

New Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) launched

Over 50 leading representatives from sport, government, academia, sponsors and other international and corporate organisations unite in Madrid to progress first-ever Sport Integrity Alliance to drive reform in sport

With the aim of addressing much-needed reform in the integrity and governance of sport, over 50 leading organisations from across all sectors of the industry have gathered in Madrid to push forward a Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA).

As an independent and neutral coalition involving international stakeholders from across multiple industry sectors, SIGA has been launched with the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of sport and will work to drive forward key reforms across good governance and financial transparency in sport.

The development of SIGA follows increasing calls, from stakeholders across all corners of industry involved in and supporting sport, for the establishment of a global, independent and neutral sport integrity body and the launch builds on the momentum resulting from informal meetings held in New York, Geneva, Brussels, Madrid and London between November 2015 and February 2016.

Today, senior representatives from over 40 of the organisations represented also pledged for the first time, to support the development of SIGA and a more formal global sport integrity body.

Alongside this, the alliance has also signed a Declaration of Core Principles on Sport Integrity, a set of 12 overarching principles which, if fully adopted throughout the industry, would see the implementation of the highest of standards on good governance, financial and sport-betting integrity in sport.

Key Principles include:

  • Support the establishment of an independent betting monitoring platform, capable of providing sport integrity intelligence alerts to sporting, law enforcement, betting operators and government stakeholders to assure early warning advice;
  • Support the establishment of independent monitoring, audit and oversight in relation to all sport-related development programs and financial transactions
  • Establish international financial integrity standards, appropriate financial reporting, audit and compliance practices, a strong “culture of compliance” and full transparency in the allocation, distribution, use and scrutiny of sports development and solidarity funds;
  • Maintain a consistent zero-tolerance policy across the sports industry towards all forms of corruption, bribery and illicit financial dealings;
  • Implement the highest governance standards, including but not limited to monitoring of potential conflicts of interest, risk management procedures, gender equality at the board level, independent directors, meaningful stakeholder representation in the decision-making organs, transparent and accountable financial management and proper oversight;
  • Assess existing club ownership regulatory frameworks and develop fit and proper club owners and directors’ tests.

Joel Lange, Managing Director of Dow Jones Sports Intelligence said:

“The sporting community is taking a major step through the establishment of universal standards of financial integrity. As we’ve seen in other financial and wider corporate sectors, the establishment of industry accepted standards is the first step towards raising the bar on good governance and establishing a culture of compliance.”

Speaking from the sport industry, Lars-Christer Olsson, President of the Swedish League said:

“The community of sport faces a collective crisis of integrity. It’s fair to say that sport cannot bring the highest benefit to society unless it adopts a new approach to business, one that is firmly rooted in the support and commitment of the sport industry, and draws upon the expertise of leading organisations who have set benchmarks in areas such as good governance.”

Speaking from the perspective of an international sport-focused organisation and from his experience at the helm of European football, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, ICSS EUROPE CEO said:

“Sport faces a truly decisive moment. In order to emerge from the unprecedented crisis that continues to shakes its very foundations, collective and rapid action is needed. Sport cannot act alone. To achieve the kind of deep reforms needed and meet peoples’ demands and expectations, sport needs the support from the international community of stakeholders, including commercial partners, governments, NGOs, international organisations and other key representatives.

“That is why this wide community of leaders and like-minded organisations have called for a sport integrity global alliance. An alliance committed to achieving the highest levels of integrity, transparency and accountability in sport. This is our indeclinable duty. To sport and the wider society it serves.”

Speaking from the finance sector, David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global Chairman said:

“The sport community can achieve a higher level of financial integrity and governance through the universal adoption of best practices and standards that other industries and sectors have implemented.

“The Core Principles offer a starting point for creating a comprehensive system to reform sport in a way that we can all be proud of, and one that will serve sporting organisations, sponsors, athletes and fans for the long-term.”

Miguel Cardenal Carro, President of Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) said:

“We are delighted to host in Madrid this new SIGA meeting that will become a milestone in the struggle to lay the foundations for sport integrity.

“In 2016, we commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes´s life. The renowned universal author of Spanish origin send Don Quixote to tilt at windmills, but today we are presented with the real challenge of implementing the core principles of good governance and financial integrity in sport.

“It is our duty to spare no effort to shed light on today’s shadows of corruption, bribery or match fixing among other censurable practices. We must hand over to our children a better world than the one given to us.

“Spain has been adamant on the fight against this new scourge that together with violence and doping jeopardises our sport. Our commitment is not only substantiate with our presence in international forums but also with our course of action.”

The meeting concluded with all stakeholders urgently calling for other like-minded organisations committed to the adoption of a set of global standards for integrity and good governance in sport to join forces with the alliance.

For further information and if your organisation would like to join SIGA, please contact [email protected]

Please click the links to access the list of Supporters in the Development of SIGA, the Declaration of Core Principles of Sport Integrity and Statement of Intent: