Will sport ever be clean?

January 19, 2009

Church of England ministers have opposed what they call the “pragmatic” approach taken by some authorities to sex and sport, which ignores the sometimes prevalent link with human trafficking.

The emergence of the “mega-brothel”, facilitated by some German cities during the 2006 football World Cup to meet the demands of the estimated three million fans at the tournament, horrified the dioceses of Winchester and Newcastle.

Signs of the same thing happening at the South Africa football World Cup in 2010 prompted the dioceses to table a motion at next month’s General Synod calling on the British government to prevent such a thing happening at the London Olympics 2012.

Tens of thousands of extra prostitutes were bussed into Germany, many of whom were likely to have been trafficked, the ministers said.

Studies suggested that prostitution levels may have in fact decreased during the World Cup.

But Christians reject human trafficking and forced prostitution because “any kind of slavery is wrong”, and because to trade in human life is a “deliberate affront to God’s valuing of human beings”.

“All that forces a person into a less than whole existence is to be resisted since they are prevented from flourishing in the image of God who created them and us,” the motion says.

The English church ministers are not the only ones to warn about sex trafficking and sport. During the Euro 2008 football tournament campaigners presented a graphic 60-second advert which was shown on television, at Switzerland’s four Euro 2008 stadiums and at public fan zones warning about the sale of young women in that country.

Should the London Olympics adopt the same policy? Or is sport and sex inevitable?

Will sport ever be clean?

One comment

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This is the kind of misrepresentation we have got accustomed to from Reuters, which really ought to know better than to allow its name to be hijacked in this way.

Prostitution has got nothing to do with sport. The prostitutes, both independent and “managed”, congregate at any large event which lasts for a number of days to take advantage of the rich pickings available from the large number of men who are away from their homes and families. This applies to political conventions, pop concerts and any other large gatherings in addition to sporting events.

To use this well-known fact of commercial life as an excuse to pose the question “Will sport ever be clean?” is irresponsible nonsense.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive