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SportAccord calls for the power of sport to lead anti-abuse actions

By Yutang Sports 17 Apr 2024

The campaign to tackle online abuse in sport scored a victory with a headline prosecution in Australia last week, but panellists at the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit were adamant that more needs to be done.

They called for International Federations to take action against offenders who target their sports and for the tech giants to raise their game.

Suggested solutions included a proposal from Janie Frampton, Vice President of the International Federation of Sports Officials, of docking points for clubs that are found to be failing.

Sarah Gregorius, Director of Global Policy & Strategic Relations, Women’s Football, FIFPRO, called for a shake-up at the top of sport.

“Sport reacts to two things – crisis and money,” she said. “The people who govern don’t have experience of what it’s like to be in the margins. They don’t see it, so it’s not a crisis for them.”

Former Rugby World Cup referee Wayne Barnes raised the issue in conversation with moderator David Eades during the opening session of yesterday’s Plenary Conference Programme.

He said the conviction earlier this week for online abuse against a match official during last year’s Rugby World Cup showed that World Rugby is prepared to tackle the issue.

Jonathan Hirshler, CEO of Signify, outlined the work of his organisation in tracking down culprits, and panellists supported the efforts being made to ensure offenders are called to account.

Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of Kick It Out, called for a united approach within sport to deal with the problems.

He said: “We are a tiny industry in comparison with the problems with which we are dealing. The top five companies in the world are tech companies – they dwarf you and they don’t care. But our intangible power is huge and we can use that to rally, campaign and influence user behaviour.”


The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 is supported by a number of strong partners and suppliers:

Gold Partner: Sport Event Denmark

Silver Partners: EventScotlandExplore EdmontonTourism & Events Queensland

Bronze Partner: Sport Liverpool Sports Authority Thailand

Official Suppliers: DB SchenkerWiz-Team

About SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 

The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit brings together around 1,500 leaders and key decision makers from over 120 International Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee, and organisations involved in the business of sport. 

The Summit provides an unrivalled platform enabling global business leaders and host cities to have access to all the International Federations and their stakeholders in one location over several days. 

This unique event is a combination of official sports meetings, networking gatherings, a themed conference programme, and exhibition space enabling International Federations, industry, cities and regions to showcase and advance their sport, services and facilities. 


SportAccord is a sports event organisation based in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, Switzerland, and governed by stakeholders representing the Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations.  

It brings together International Federations and organisations involved in the business of sport with the aim to serve, promote and protect the common interests of its stakeholders, help them achieve their global objectives and facilitate knowledge-sharing.

SportAccord’s stakeholders include:

ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations)

WOF (Winter Olympic Federations)

ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations)

AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport)

Visit for more information.

About Yutang Sports

As one of SportAccord's Principal Media Partners, Yutang Sports is a Chinese leading sports marketing and media platform, with an ultimate mission to connect China and world through sports. After years of growing, Yutang Sports, with a comprehensive media and marketing promotion system, is now dedicating to reporting sports business and marketing trends, providing sports business news, analysis, and exclusive data reports in both Chinese and English. Having been cooperated with top-level domestic and international sports summits, Yutang Sports is opening a window for Chinese sports industry to embrace the world.

Tags: SportAccord
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