SIGA Inter-regional Summit, Doha 16th-17th September, 2019

“Sport Integrity – The Power of Collective Action in the Middle East, Asia and Africa’

Franco Frattini speaks about modern politics and global threats at RANEPA

The Chairman of the Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) Franco Frattini took part in the SIGA Inter-regional Summit, hosted in Doha on September 16th and 17th at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, on the topic “Sport Integrity – The Power of Collective Action in the Middle East, Asia and Africa’. Organized by SIGA, the summit is co-hosted by the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and Qatar Airways, under the patronage of the Minister of Culture and Sports, H. E. Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali.

The conference is the occasion to discuss a number of important topics with experts and specialists in sport integrity from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The meeting also aims to highlight the gravity of corruption in sport in the region and to develop solutions by encouraging countries to adopt SIGA’s international standard legislation.

Franco Frattini, Chairman of SIGA, said: “We are delighted to hold our second Inter-Regional Summit in Doha and want to thank our partners for their support. The need for sport integrity is greater than ever and SIGA works relentlessly to deliver this fundamental mission. We call upon all countries, all governments and the entire sports industry to join us in this quest and support our efforts. By sports organizations adopting our Universal Standards we will ensure that the game is clean from undue influence and corruption.” SIGA, the world’s largest coalition in the field of sports governance and integrity, presents the Inter-Regional Summit as a neutral and action-oriented platform to bring together thought leaders and international experts from the world of sport, governments, global business and civil society to engage in an open dialogue on the most pressing issues surrounding the integrity of sport.

Source: Ambasciata d’Italia a Doha

Speech delivered by Franco Frattini

Ladies and Excellences,

I thank you all for coming from all over the world to this extraordinary regional forum in Doha. We are happy that the first, comprehensive SIGA regional forum in the Middle East on sport integrity is held, with the invaluable support of the government and our sponsors in a Country that is having the responsibility to organize – I’m sure very well – important sport world event, starting by athletics in few days.

My warm thanks go first to Emanuel Medeiros, our CEO, and his staff, Katie first, for the tireless commitment to make this forum a great reality! I also warmly thank my vice – chairman and friend Mohammed, also deeply committed for a big event in his country, this Country.

Being myself a judge dealing with anti-mafia cases at the Italian Supreme Court, I know well how much all the components of our societies run the risk to be permeated by criminality in its various forms, from the mafia’s contamination of economic sectors, to the penetration of organized crime and corruption in the field of sports. The universal values of Olympic Charter are first of all a very powerful instrument to educate the younger generations, towards fair and loyal competitions, rigorous training rules, and sacrifices to get every day better results; the pollution, the denegation of those values, instead, tends to lead the youth towards unfair rules to prevail anyway, or to get “easy money”.

Many supranational Institutions focus now on this topic, from OECD, to the Council of Europe, to UNODOC, and, recently, even the G7, during 2017 German Presidency. Fighting together for sport integrity, rule of law, and international binding rules is and should be a moral, and then an institutional obligation, for States, sport governing bodies, law enforcement authorities, and private sector. In the world of today, organised crime, in search for more profit in a variety of sectors, diversifies its actions, from corruption, to tax crimes, to document forgery with the aim of maximizing economic profits, influencing the Public Administration, laundering illicit money and finally controlling entire territories.

We have experience, also in Italy, and this is my judicial job, of infiltrations trough various, often converging instruments: from cash – intensive business, to figureheads, to secrecy jurisdictions. The common denominator is the promotion of cultural acceptance of corruption. Sport is now a new risk area; organized crime is unfortunately very attracted by huge flows of money around sports (first, professional football sector), by the visibility of sport events and even more, for the mafias, by the possibility of cleaning criminal reputation through creating consensus rooted in a given territory that they want to control. Failing cannot be an option!

We call for a big, world alliance of rule of law against those that try to destroy our hopes! Many hidden forces are against us, working for the “Kingdom of the profit” at the expenses of our future and the one of the younger generations! I learned also in my judicial experience of President of the Italian High Court for Sport Justice – this is my second judicial hat – that the way to eradicate the cancer of corruption, spreading illegality, match fixing, exploitation of the youth, is to address and cut the financial routes of crime, that lead to enrich a few against the rest of our societies. From the tracking of sport financial transactions, to the attention needed to the management of sports clubs and facilities, to the ticketing activities, to a deep reform of the main sport governing bodies, to a fair public/private cooperation between decision makers.

This is the way.

It shouldn’t be just a dream, a new world where any euro or dollar confiscated to sport criminals under binding rules applicable worldwide is re-invested for new sport initiatives or infrastructures, to the good of the whole societies. Money earned illegally should be reversed to the good of honest people! SIGA aims at spreading worldwide common verification criteria for sports institutions and private sectors involved, to show a kind of “evidence of immunity” from criminal infiltrations and risks related. SIGA aims at promoting global binding rules on sports integrity. Those who like the status quo repeat that “sport should be autonomous and free from any imposition. But exactly because this is the essence of sport, I think that to be free and autonomous, all the sport activities must be first “crime – free!”

I don’t want to see the current and the new generations live in a crime – dominated world of sport. It is within the reach, if we all believe in it.

This is SIGA mission, this is why your support and commitment is the key to succeed!

Thank you.

White Paper on sport integrity in January, says SIGA Chairman

Irfan Bukhari | The Peninsula

Praising Qatar’s efforts in promoting sports and sport integrity in the region, Chairman of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), Franco Frattini, said that the Alliance will present in Rome a White Paper on sport integrity in January next year.

“The next goal of the SIGA is to present proposals which can become one day binding rules at international level, applicable to all States in the international community. It is quite an ambitious goal,” said Frattini in an interview with The Peninsula.

Frattini was in Doha to participate in the Inter-regional Sport Integrity Summit on the topic ‘Sport Integrity – The Power of Collective Action in the Middle East, Asia and Africa’.

He said that the SIGA is an international alliance which has got together sports institutions, States, public institutions and private sector. “Our idea is to bring together all those aimed at improving integrity in the field of sport, preventing illegality and fighting all kinds of criminal activities related to sport.”

Frattini served twice as Italian Foreign Minister (2002-2004 and 2008-2011), and as Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security (2004-2008). Frattini said that the first regional summit in Doha was an important step towards achieving SIGA’s goal of adopting universal standards.

“The first Summit was the American SIGA Summit, which was held in March this year. Doha’s Summit is the first inter-regional summit in the Middle East.” He added that the SIGA would prepare a formal proposal in order to have universal standards to be accepted and applicable in States for sports governance.

“Our aim is to finalize within few months a White Paper on sports integrity.” He said that suggestions for the White Paper would be collected from all the stakeholders such as States, sports federations, private and public institutions, to shape them into a final proposal.

Frattini said that the SIGA White Paper would most likely be formally presented in Rome next year sometimes in January. He said that a ‘Common Verification System’ was already in place and very well operational. “Some entities decided to subscribe or accepted these standards to be applicable.”

Frattini — who also served as President of the De Gasperi Foundation from 2011 to 2013—said that another extremely important idea of the SIGA was to propose to States that money confiscated from criminal organizations be reverted to good initiatives benefiting young generations, such as the construction of stadiums, courts, camps.

“Every dollar confiscated should be re-used to implement these initiatives in the same country where it was confiscated,” he noted. He said that sports has become a ‘sector at risk’ because of huge flows of money. “Match fixing, briberies, money laundering through sports activities and criminal organisations are putting sport at risk”. Another horrible crime is the exploitation of young athletes by unscrupulous clubs. “Many young athletes from Asia, Africa and Latin America are bought by unscrupulous clubs which bring them to Europe and later they treat them as trash,” he said, adding that a strong fight against this phenomenon is needed.

On SIGA’s achievement since it was founded in 2015, he expressed his complete satisfaction. “A number of new entities are asking to become full member of the SIGA. We have at present 115 members including States, sports federations, private and public institutions.” He said that the SIGA had signed memorandums of cooperation with many UN agencies and recently signed an agreement with US Sports Council.

“The Summit in Doha is paving the way for expanding SIGA in the Middle East.” Talking about other SIGA projects in the pipeline, Frattini said that the SIGA was set to launch the initiative ‘Sports Integrity and Diplomacy’ to attract ambassadors for the adoption of common binding rules worldwide. He said that this initiative would be launched by the beginning of next year. To a question, he said that the role of all entities is important for sport integrity.

“NGOs work on ground and report illegalities. Sports bodies can prevent the spread of corruption within the organizations. States make laws.” He said that the SIGA would give soon a presentation at the European Parliament. “I am also meeting soon the Commissioner for Sport in the European Commission with the aim to develop common rules in the European Union.”

Frattini said that he had high expectations with the summit in Qatar because it was being held for the first time in the Middle East. “It is a confirmation of the commitment to organize clean sports events in this part of the world.”

He said that Qatar had the capacity to organize clean sports events with no concerns and suspects. “Athletics Championship is set to start and then Qatar will host FIFA World Cup in 2022.” Regarding the preparation of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he said: “They are simply amazing. I was the Foreign Minister of Italy when Qatar won the vote for hosting the 2022 World Cup. All preparations are very well-advanced. It will be a very successful sport event.” He also praised Qatar for its efforts to become a sports hub in the region. “We need countries which can become sports hubs in the region, which is currently critical for security and stability.

Therefore the focus of the countries should be on sports instead of wars. It is better for everybody.” He said that Qatar had undertaken many important initiatives for the wellbeing of its people. “Likewise, the Italian Government and the Embassy of Italy in Doha are extremely committed to promote wellbeing by raising awareness – especially among young generations – on the importance of sport and sport values to conduct a healthy lifestyle.

This shared approach could lead Italy and Qatar to work together to devote territories to sport and well-being by creating districts renowned for wellness expertise and high quality of life. This project could make of Doha the first example of ‘Wellness City’, contributing to channelize and guide people through a wellness path. Sport is a life habit not only a competition.”


The Peninsula – Summit praises Qatar’s sports integrity and governance 
September 18 2019: 

Gulf Times – ‘Qatar is serious on campaign vs corruption in sports’, says SIGA chairman 
September 17 2019: 

Gulf Times – PM meets SIGA chairman 
September 17 2019: 

Gulf Times – Minister meets SIGA officials 
September 17 2019: 

The Peninsula – Sports summit aims to promote transparency, integrity 
September 17 2019:,-integrity 

Gulf Times – ‘Brand reputation and integrity vital for making sponsorship decisions’ 
September 17 2019: 

Gulf Times – QSL signs co-operation agreement with SIGA
September 17 2019:

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