SIGA

European Rugby League earn SIGA's first Integrity in Sport certification

Through SIGA's rating system, the continental rugby group will become the first sports organisation to receive independent integrity certification in sport.

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European Rugby League earn first Integrity in Sport certification

On Tuesday 23 November 2021 European Rugby League (ERL) will have the honour of becoming the first sports organisation to receive independent certification from SIGA, the Sport Integrity Global Alliance.  SIGA will announce the rating achieved by ERL at a digital press conference starting at 10 a.m.

The 42-member confederation for the sport of rugby league went through the SIGA Independent Rating and Verifications System (SIRVS), which assesses and rates a sports organisation’s "level of implementation of and compliance with the SIGA Universal Standards". The independent rating is awarded on the level of compliance in bronze, silver and gold categories.

The certification for European Rugby League will be presented in London, with a digital press conference running from 10 a.m. to 10.45 a.m. to be followed by an in person SIRVS launch event, from 10.45 a.m. to 12.00 noon. The results of the certification process for ERL will be covered here on AS USA in English and in Spanish on AS.com

Need for integrity in sport

As scandals have clouded the world of sport - including racial and sexual abuse, match-fixing, money laundering and other forms of corruption - it was clear there was a need for an increased focus on integrity. SIGA, of which AS is an official media partner, fights for integrity in sport world-wide, and promotes good governance and independent, universal, global standards.

Global brands are supporting the SIRVS tool, thanks to the assurance it provides that sports the brands invest in are well governed, thereby protecting their reputation. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)  and the Chess International Federation (FIDE) recently announced they are going through SIRVS.

European Rugby League certification

The ERL has adopted the universal standards of Good Governance in Sport, something that is voluntary. It also decided to undergo the SIRVS integrity check, a process which has since been concluded, and their successful result will be announced at BSI's London headquarters at Tuesday's conference.

David Butler, General Manager of ERL took part in a panel entitled 'Accountability and scrutiny in sport means SIRVS', during SIGA's Sport Integrity Week this autumn, to discuss the importance of this step for his organisation and for sport in general. He identified two main benefits of going through an independent audit: "reassurance that what you are doing well, you really are doing well and it helps you to keep progressing" and "it helps you to spot gaps and identify improvements."

According to a press release from SIGA, "The announcement of the first SIRVS rating is just the beginning of a movement that will completely transform sport at a global level. As time has gone on and scandals have ensued, more and more organizations have felt the need to ensure their own integrity.

For this to be done effectively it is necessary to have an independent body that checks compliance levels and certifies good practices. It is fundamental that sport meets certain basic standards, just as all other activities do. No one gets on a plane that is not certified and it's unlikely that anyone would want to eat in an uncertified restaurant."

SIGA and integrity

Diario AS is a proud partner of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), which has developed Universal Standards for Integrity in Sport covering four key areas:

- Good governance

- Sports Betting Integrity

- Financial Integrity

- Youth training and child protection

All sports organizations are invited to adopt SIGA's Universal Standards, with SIGA creating the  SIRVS tool to verify the level of compliance with these standards.

SIRVS is independently authored by the British Standards Institution (the oldest organisation in the world in the field, which won the public tender held by SIGA), in which a point-by-point check of compliance with the standards is carried out. After a rigorous audit, the bronze, silver or gold rating is assigned.

This rating provides protection for all stakeholders in the following ways:

- Sponsors ensure they do not get caught up in supporting an organisation/competition without integrity.

- Athletes are protected from bad practices such as abuse and wage arrears.

- The competition achieves a higher level of protection from external threats like match-fixing.

- Supporters are assured that what they see on the field is real and not manipulated.

- TV rights holders are assured that they involved with a clean product.

- Clubs are protected from money laundering, corruption etc.