Government: Unrepresentative sports bodies will lose public funding
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Government: Unrepresentative sports bodies will lose public funding

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Sports governing bodies will have to appoint at least 30 per cent of its board from under-represented gender groups and will be targeted to increase ethnic minority members if they wish to receive public funding.

The stipulation is one of a number of measures announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of the UK Charter for Sports governance'>governance which has been published today (12 May).

Organisations that want to continue to receive money from the government’s funding partners UK Sport and Sport England will have to make sure the disabled population is adequately represented on boards, and may also enforce a quota of 25 per cent of board members to be completely independent to “provide a constructive challenge” to the body.

Term limits and the size of boards will also be capped, while those who are asked to hold senior positions in sport will be required to sign a declaration stating that they are of ‘good character’ before their appointment is ratified.

Governing bodies will be asked to be transparent with their accounts for stakeholder and public scrutiny.

While the government has outlined the main themes of the document, the full code will not be finalised until later this year following a period of work by UK Sport and Sport England. The announcement coincides with the ongoing Anti-Corruption Summit which is being hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

David Evennett, acting sports minister, said the publication of the code means a “consistent approach so that organisations know exactly what is expected”.

“Sport bodies have to be accountable for the public money they receive and we are absolutely clear that those that do not adhere to the new code will not receive public funds in the future,” he added.

The code was first unveiled as part of the government’s comprehensive Sporting Future strategy document published last December, and follows a stark period for sporting governance amid scandals at FIFA and the IAAF.

It also comes shortly after culture secretary John Whittingdale warned the Football Association for not implementing the required governance reforms on its Council, and threatened to pull the £30m (US$43.3m, €40m) funding it receives through Sport England if the situation is not addressed.

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Sports governing bodies will have to appoint at least 30 per cent of its board from under-represented gender groups and will be targeted to increase ethnic minority members if they wish to receive public funding.
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