RESEARCH PROJECT ON FRAUDE IN SPORT
The negative impact of fraud in sports – all behaviours aimed to manipulate the outcome of a sports competition or abuse sports to gain financial and other advantages – has never been more manifest than today. Not only does fraud in sports undermines the attractiveness of sports as a multibillion business, it also threatens the integrity of sports and those involved. To enable sports to fully play its positive role in society (relating to such outcomes as the improvement of public health and social cohesion), fraud in sports has to be tackled in an integrated manner, uniting forces of many sports, public, and private organizations. However, current insights in the causes, consequences, and preventive measures of fraud in sports are fragmented, and (as a consequence) proposed reforms are at best only limitedly effective.
Given this context, the here presented PrOFS project delivers an ambitious, state-of-the art, multidisciplinary scientific approach in preventing fraud in sports, thereby responding to calls of both academics and practitioners for a holistic framework. To this aim, the PrOFS project envisions a systemic change, enabled by the close collaboration of a broad range of leading scientists and the main stakeholders regarding the fight against fraud in sports in Flanders. For the first time, a multidisciplinary project is presented that not only investigates the complex nature of fraud in sports, but also uses scientific methods to develop and test practical tools (e.g. risk assessment, fraud in sports barometer, and crime proofing) and solutions (e.g. reforms of laws and
regulations, moral education workshop, and tournament restructuring) in optimizing the fight against fraud in sports. Particular focus is put on those types of fraud in sports (i.e. match-fixing, human trafficking, bribery, and financial and social fraud, including money laundering) that are most strongly present, yet lack an integrated counter approach.