Club’s plight raised in EU ethics discussion

SPEECH Mike Hancock
SPEECH Mike Hancock
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY’S plight has been raised at a discussion over ethics in sport in Strasbourg.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that the club has been ‘hijacked by people who have used it for their own ends in one way or another’.

Uefa president Michel Platini was present at the assembly.

Mr Hancock said: ‘The club is now in total despair.

‘The fans have fought loyally to try and save it, as other fans have fought to save other sporting activities around the world.

‘Fans are abused because of cheating and betting. Gambling on sport immediately undermines the very value of sport, which should be an equal contest.

‘Once that money has been brought into the system, there is, unfortunately, little hope for the creditability of sport.

‘I hope that when the rapporteurs wind up, they will also express the concerns of boxing supporters, football supporters and cricket supporters, all of whom have been enormously badly let down by the organisations that are conspiring to control sport.

‘Gambling in sport is out of control and it is about time it was brought under proper regulation and transparency.

‘Fifa should be the place where we start.’