Saturday, 4 February 2012

Goal! ... Goals were set for future European regulations of sport sector.

Everyone has some hobby or passion that he just cannot help but be a bit emotional about, maybe even a bit out of control about. Many of these are sport-related. Unfortunately, some of these sport passions tend to take over rational sense which sometimes escalates in violence during sport events, match-fixing, players' doping etc. Sport has been recognized as one of the areas that European institutions have power to harmonize on a European level, on the basis of article 165 of the Lisbon Treaty. A few days ago, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it calls for more legislative initiatives aiming at regulating sport on a European level (Sport: EU tackles hooligans, corrupt agents and illegal betting).

One goal that was set for European institutions is to make sport more approachable and attractive for girls and women. On one hand, it may be achieved by increasing the amount of women in sport governing bodies, who could possibly better protect female interests in sports. On the other hand, it is interesting to see that the European Parliament members perceive cultural or religious grounds that could restrain girls (or more specifically 'immigrant girls') from participating in gym or swimming classes at schools as intolerable and inexcusable. Personally, this view seems to be a bit narrow-minded and may lead to some unrest it would lead to the adoption of a binding provision in this scope.

Less controversial idea is to create European blacklists of hooligans, that is, sport fans who are known to be violent or engage in discriminatory behaviour. They should be banned from all European stadiums during international matches. This goal could be achieved upon creation of a European database. I'm fully in support of this idea, especially since I'm supposed to attend a game during EURO 2012 and I worry a bit about safety measures that are going to be enforced.

The MEPs think not only about protection of potential female athletes as well as safety of citizens attending games, but also professional athletes. They suggest adoption of a new European law on the basis of which trafficking in performance-enhancing substances would be treated alike trafficking in illegal drugs. Moreover, any match-fixing, illegal betting etc. should be treated as a criminal offence in Europe. Licensing system should be adopted for betting operators. Other initiatives concerns sports agents as well as education system set up for young athletes aside their sports training.

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