Press release: Fight against corruption in sports must be moved from a standstill

Although it is not known that any case of corruption in Montenegrin sports has ever been prosecuted, IA’s research shows the high susceptibility of this phenomenon, especially in terms of the sports organizations co-financing, sports facilities construction and match-fixing.

Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism has been checking the four cases of suspicious transactions connected to the betting business since 2008, according to the data we have collected during the research on the IA’s new analysis “Risks of corruption in Montenegrin sports”.

In one case, the notification about suspicious transactions was forwarded to the Police Directorate, while the other case revealed significant tax avoidance.

On the other hand, special departments for corruption, organized crime, war crimes and terrorism of the Higher Courts in Bijelo Polje and Podgorica didn’t pass any decision or initiated any proceedings of the offenses of corruption and organized crime in sports.

However, the fact that it is not known whether any case was prosecuted should not be treated as a proof that these crimes are absent.

On the contrary, by reviewing the deficiencies of the institutional and legal frameworks , the IA’s research indicates that the co-financing of sports organizations, construction of sports facilities and match-fixing are areas particularly susceptible to corruption.

While match-fixing is taking pace in more developed countries, as the current investigation of Europol suggests, the danger of this phenomenon in Montenegro is ignored. In order to prevent such fraud, it is necessary to strengthen the capacities of relevant state bodies as wll as their coordination.

In this regard, it is needed to ensure preservation of betting deposits and withdrawals in a separate on-line monitoring system and its connection with the information system of the Administration for games of chance. Although provided by the Law on Games of Chance, this system has not been established yet.

Co-financing of sports organizations from the state and local budget also leaves room for abuse of the public interest. Co-financing the sport organizations from the local budgets is especially un-transparent and worrying. Therefore, all local governments should commit to providing insight into the precise amount of funds allocated for co-financing of sports organizations as well as into the criteria by which the money is distributed.

Construction and reconstruction of sports facilities is another area susceptible to corruption, given the strategic commitment of the Government to the concept of public-private partnerships in the implementation of major infrastructure projects. For the successful implementation of this concept, a special law on public-private partnerships, which would clearly define the requirement for publishing the details and implementation of the contracts on Public-Private Partnerships, should be adopted.

You can download research report here (only in Montenegrin).

Milena Milošević
Policy Analyst

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