KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- A significant development in the sphere of sports integrity has seen Michael Hershman, co-founder of Transparency International, take over as group ceo of the Qatar-funded International Centre for Sport Security.
ICSS was created originally with a focus on event security advice but has since shifted targets to develop a far stronger focus on matchfixing and competition corruption.
The 70-year-old American, aside from a string of senior media and sports appointments, was notably a member of the independent governance committee which sought to guide the initial reform work within FIFA.
He has remained a sceptical observer of the world football federation’s stop-start attempts to deal with the structural failings which enabled a culture of corruption at the highest political level of the international game.
His ‘transfer’ is the most important coup in the five-year history of ICSS.
The organisation’s Qatari roots have generated uncertainty over its independence and purpose despite previous appointments in various roles of former football security specialists such as Chris Eaton and Helmut Spahn plus former Metropolitan Police chief Lord John Stevens.
Confirming Hershman’s concentration on his new role, an ICSS statement said: “Mr Hershman steps down from his role as president and ceo of the Fairfax Group, where he advised governments, financial institutions, multi-national corporations and sports governing bodies on transparency, governance and security matters.”
Outllining his own ongoing vision, Hershman said: “Sport is now a fundamental pillar within modern society. It plays a vital role in inspiring millions of people around the world through its positive values.
“Whilst there continue to be many question marks and concerns around the safety, security and integrity of sport, it is vital that sport is united in confronting the many challenges it faces and that organisations across all sectors of the sports industry combine their efforts and work together to help restore trust and confidence in sport.”
Addressing his new role, he added: “As an organisation established to benefit and safeguard sport, the ICSS has huge potential to further its current work supporting governments, law enforcement and other sport governing bodies and to help develop a more consistent, coordinated and global approach to current efforts to safeguard sport.
“As Group CEO, I look forward to strengthening the ICSS’s existing offer and expertise, as well as helping organisations around the world to restore trust and confidence back to sport. We need to bring the values of sport back.”