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Establishing Malta’s National Platform

On March 1, 2024, Malta made another important step forward towards combatting the manipulation of sports competitions on a local level with the publication of Legal Notice 39 of 2024 and Legal Notice 40 of 2024 respectively.

These two legal notices regulate the setting up and functioning of the Maltese national platform which had already been envisaged in Article 44 of the Sports Governance and Integrity Act of 2021.

Legal Notice 40 regulates the establishment and composition of the national platform, whilst Legal Notice 39 regulates the powers and obligations of the national platform.

The national platform is to be co-ordinated by the Authority for Integrity in Maltese Sport (AIMS). 

The identification and role of the national platform steams out of the Macolin Convention, whereby each party to the Convention is obliged to identify and set up its national platform via Article 13 of the Convention which states that “each Party shall identify a national platform addressing manipulation of sports competitions.”

One the national platform is identified, each party must inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the name and addresses of the national platform.

There are three core guidelines for national platforms to follow at all times, the national strategy, coordination and implementation.

The responsibilities of the Maltese national platform are similar to those that are laid out in the Macolin Convention.

To collect, analyse and where necessary to share information with counterparts, analyse generated betting alerts, act as an information hub and to assist the police and sport organisations in the production of evidence for the purpose of prosecution of criminal cases and disciplinary proceedings.

Thus, the national platform is empowered to play a vital role in the fight to eradicate manipulation of sports competitions.

The national platform shall be composed of representatives from the Ministry of Sport, the Ministry of Home Affairs, AIMS, the police force, the Malta Gaming Authority, the Malta Olympic Committee as well as the Malta Football Association.

The idea here is that just like other national platforms, the Maltese national platform is to be comprised of key stakeholders within the sports industry who are vested with a vast knowledge of the ins and outs of the sports industry and the way criminal proceedings are conducted.

The Maltese national platform is legally obliged to meet a minimum of six times a year, with the aim of discussing the operations of the platform as well as to report to the other members of the platform what each organisation is doing for the achievement of the functions and objectives of the platform.

In those cases where a suspicious report is submitted or if there is a suspicion that a sports event has been manipulated, the national platform shall meet not later than four days from when such report has been submitted and/or event occurred.

One of the benefits for the setting up of a national platform is the possibility to join what is commonly referred to as the Group of Copenhagen.

The Group of Copenhagen serves to bring together national platforms from various countries to exchange information, experiences and expertise between its members and the Council of Europe. Even though to date Malta has not yet signed or ratified the Macolin Convention, it is still possible for the Maltese national platform to form part of the Group of Copenhagen.

As a matter of fact, Malta already enjoys observer status within the Group of Copenhagen.

Each and every one of the national platforms play a crucial role in ensuring that the threat posed to the manipulation of sports competitions is contained as much as possible.

This is done by ensuring that the necessary safeguarding measures are put in place to combat the peril of manipulation of sports competitions.

Note: Dr. Robert Dingli is a sports lawyer and Senior Associate at Dingli & Dingli Law Firm

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