Transparency and full disclosure with regard to ownership of football clubs across Europe and with regard to ‘investments’ made in same clubs is of crucial importance. MEP Francis Zammit Dimech made these remarks during a public hearing organised by the Committee of inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA) entitled “Tax-planning, do celebrities and companied breach EU law?”.
Zammit Dimech emphasised that transparency on ownership and investment in clubs, the ultimate beneficial owners, level of investment and full tracking along with traceability of donations especially when they exceed significant amounts had to be given due importance to ensure good governance in sports.
The first panel which focused on football leaks saw the involvement of the European Investigative Collaborations that gathers together investigative journalists from Europe and which published the findings of financial wrongdoing in the world of soccer, representatives of FIFA, UEFA and the European Football Agents Association (EFAA).
In their remarks the panellists agreed that there was scope for a better regulatory framework to protect football as a sport rather than as a commercial venture.During the meeting representatives of both UEFA and FIFA faced hefty criticism and their answered were considered to be incomplete by some MEPs. On the other hand, Zammit Dimech thanked journalists for their initiative which he said made the work of legislators more comprehensive.
Zammit Dimech is member of the PANA committee which has also looked into the Panama Papers scandal that hit Malta. Zammit Dimech is also member of the Culture and Education Committee which is also responsible for sports, media and youth.