NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


"The industry's reputation has been dragged through the mud"

Freshly re-elected as CEO of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros’ mission is to clean up the image of the industry.

"The industry's reputation has been dragged through the mud"

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros (Azores, 1969) has just been re-elected as CEO of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA). In an interview with AS, Macedo de Medeiros discusses how to clean up the image of sport, an industry whose reputation has at times been so severely damaged by its principal actors.

Would you be able to give us an overview of your first term and, more importantly, what you are planning for your second term?

Over the last four years, and more precisely since 2014, when the inception of SIGA truly began as my brainchild, we started a true revolution, but a tranquil revolution, because we did it without forcing rebellions in the streets or using arms to do it. The power of our ideas, and the strength of our determination and the support of every key stakeholder in the industry, speaks eloquently about this new culture, this new attitude, this new mentality that we see flourishing and becoming widespread across all sectors of the global sports industry.

What is SIGA?

It is in our DNA to spur change, to spur reform. And not only that, we brought all sides of the industry together: sports, governments, international organisations, international business, civil society, universities, NGOs, media, etc…

Can sport's image be changed?

You will all remember the tsunami effect, the destruction we have seen in terms of the reputation of sport back in 2015, when the FBI broke into that hotel in Zurich and arrested 15 FIFA executives. I remember clearly those days and I remember the impact that this had and the trauma that it had and the injury that was not confined to one sport or one country or just the sport itself, it was the whole industry, a systemic shock, so we needed a rupture. We needed a true antidote and a united front. That united front is SIGA, that is where everything began and accelerated.

What has changed?

Between then and now, we have firmed up our vision and come up with a set of strong and universal standards which are the best in class in terms of good governance in sport, financial integrity, sports betting integrity, youth development and child protection. We have done that, it’s being implemented across the industry, and the first to kick off was the European Rugby League, followed by UEFA and many other organisations. I hope that also the Spanish powerhouses in sport, including the Royal Spanish Football Federation and LaLiga can also adopt [the standards], because they too can press for change and lead and inspire others to do the same.

Has the response from actors in the sports industry been positive?

We have brought through accountability and independent scrutiny to the industry, with the creation of an independent rating and verification system, which is called SIRVS. No longer does the industry have to depend upon acts of faith, trusting that sports organisations are properly governed, just because they wish to believe so. Now, sports organisations have the opportunity and the means and the platforms to demonstrate that they have done their work, that they have enhanced governance, that they have enhanced transparency and that they deserve the trust of the fans and the investors. And that is a true game changing moment for an industry whose reputation has been dragged through the mud due to so many scandals that are widespread in the public domain. It hurts me as someone who has 30 years at the forefront of professional football and the sports industry…

What's the relationship between the football and sports industry and SIGA right now?

It’s unbelievable the atmosphere. Obviously we brought in a new way of understanding and feeling sport, a new culture that understands that there is a significant role, a vital role, played by international sports federations and national governing bodies, but it’s different, everyone understands that sport belongs to, and there is a responsibility from, sponsors, broadcasters, international organisations, governments, universities, it’s a democratic field where everyone has a vested responsibility in ensuring that that critical factor that determines its success, its global appeal, called integrity, is always at the top and respected.

Will SIGA keep on growing?

The context that we receive on a daily basis will determine the continuous growth of SIGA, in terms of representativeness, in terms of number of members, in terms of implementation of our reform agenda, it’s started already with the Government of the Azores becoming a member of SIGA, it will continue this week with two other organisations joining SIGA, and so on.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?