News: November 2015

Securing Sport 2015

Michael PedersenMichael Pedersen spoke at Securing Sport 2015, which took place at Harold Pratt House in New York City, USA on 3-4 November 2015. Convened by International Center for Sport Security, the event brought together approx. 250 sport leaders and sport stakeholders and experts from around the world.

Keynote speakers at the event included:

  • William Bratton, Police Commissioner, New York City
  • Francois Carrard, Chairman, 2016 FIFA Reform Committee
  • Sunil Gulati, President, US Soccer
  • Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Michael Hershman, Co-Founder, Transparency International
  • Mohammed Hanzab, President, International Center for Sport Security
  • Professor Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
  • Eric Holder, Former U.S. Attorney General
  • Cobi Jones, Former Soccer Player, Los Angeles Galaxy
  • Condoleezza Rice, 66th U.S. Secretary of State
  • Tokyo Sexwale, FIFA Presidential Candidate

In the context of a panel, titled “Bringing Accountability Back to Sport: The Role of Government and Governing Bodies”, Michael Pedersen offered his perspectives on some key aspects to be considered in modernizing sport governance standards. Rob Simmelkjaer, NBC Sports and MSNBC On-Air Contributor, moderated the panel. Richard Pound, Founding President, World Anti-Doping Agency and Mike Hopper, former Vice President, Sports and Municipal Marketing, NYC & Company contributed as panelists too.

During the panel discussion, Michael Pedersen emphasized that national and international sport governing bodies as well as athletes are first in line to safeguard the integrity of sport. He added that governments too ought to take an active role in ensuring high levels of trust in sport, given all the positive societal benefits of a physically active population and the pressure to showcase that public funding of sport is spent effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, Michael Pedersen highlighted that sponsors, media broadcasters and sport betting operators also ought to actively engage in safeguarding sport integrity, appreciating that eventually their significant investments in sport and their overall business reputation are at stake.

As for specific governance challenges to be addressed, Michael Pedersen stressed the importance of taking conflicts of interest out of the boardrooms in sport, for instance by creating independent structures for detecting and sanctioning proven wrongdoings. In light of the most recent integrity issues in sport, he also advocated for basic oversight and basic rules and limitations for self-regulation in sport. Increasing transparency and accountability through external audits and external publication of annual reports with detailed figures for revenues and expenditures could for instance do this. Last but not least, Michael Pedersen underlined the value of learning and getting inspiration from evolving good governance practices across sports and countries.

Prior to Securing Sport 2015, Michael Pedersen attended an international expert gathering. The gathering, which took place in New York City on 2 November, was facilitated by International Center for Sport Security too. It offered an opportunity for a wide group of experts and stakeholders from across sectors and countries to come together to discuss potential solutions to current integrity issues in sport. Following the gathering, a statement calling for a sport integrity alliance to be established was issued. Michael Pedersen supported the statement.

In parallel to and as an integrated part of Securing Sport 2015, a series of activities took place at Times Square in New York City on 3 November 2015. These activities comprised a celebration of the power of sport in generating positive societal change in general and of the initiative called Save the Dream in particular. This initiative, focusing on empowering youth and inspiring societies towards ensuring that sport is free from corruption, violence, discrimination and for all, is led by International Center for Sport Security and Qatar Olympic Committee.

For further information about Securing Sport 2015, see the dedicated event website.

Securing Sport 2015