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Conference of CoE ministers of sport opened

16. March 2012. | 04:39

Source: Emg.rs

 Deputy Prime Minister Verica Kalanovic opened yesterday the 12th Conference of the Council of Europe (CoE) Ministers responsible for Sport, which will focus on the issues of match-fixing, illegal betting and prevention of violence in sport.

 Deputy Prime Minister Verica Kalanovic opened yesterday the 12th Conference of the Council of Europe (CoE) Ministers responsible for Sport, which will focus on the issues of match-fixing, illegal betting and prevention of violence in sport.

In Belexpo Centre, Kalanovic thanked CoE on behalf of the Serbian government for showing confidence to Serbia to host this conference.

She said that this conference is a place where cooperation between Serbia and the Council of Europe, of which Serbia is a member, will be enhanced, as well as between Serbia and the EU, whose member Serbia should become.

Only with joint effort can we reach a solution and I am convinced that the results will not fail. Sport is the personification of a nation, Serbia celebrates sport and its athletes, and it respects and remembers great results of other nations, Kalanovic underlined.

CoE Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said that Serbia has long supported international work in the field of sports.

Buquicchio underlined that the conference takes place at an important moment, before the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and the European Football Championship in Ukraine and Poland.

Lately we had several cases of violence and rigging, and this issue concerns not only professional athletes, but also affects the lower-level athletes and young athletes. Sport brings together men and women, old and young, people of different social backgrounds and religious denominations, and is the binding element in the development of European democracy and the rule of human rights, Buquicchio said.

Chairman of the Subcommittee on Youth and Sport of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe An Brasero said that there is great concern because there has been an increase in negative events in sports lately.

Sport attracts millions of people around the world, sports competitions have become big events that mobilise substantial resources, and due to the increasing commercialisation, that motivates the "bad guys" to find their interest for profit. We must seriously face these threats because our time is running out, Braser said.

During the conference, the cooperation between the Council of Europe and the EU will be examined, as well as the issue of improving mechanisms for control of implementation of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events.

This topic is of special importance since the initiative for amendments to the convention was launched by Serbia.

The conference has gathered more than 180 delegates from entire Europe, mostly ministers of sport, as well as UEFA President Michel Platini.

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