C`wealth sports ministers to discuss match fixing?

London: Sports ministers from Commonwealth countries will meet here two days ahead of the Olympic Games opening ceremony to discuss ways to rid sport of betting and match fixing and how it can contribute to advancing development goals.

The meeting on July 25 will draw attention to how sport for development and peace can be used in efforts to address social and economic challenges and promote global public health, a release from the Commonwealth Secretariat said.

Ministers will discuss how to combat threats to the integrity of sport, including illegal sports betting and match fixing and review preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, which are scheduled to be held in Glasgow.

They will also review comprehensive policy recommendations developed by the Commonwealth to help governments, sports bodies, intergovernmental organisations and civil society organisations in strengthening sport-based interventions, it added.

Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, who oversees the Commonwealth`s work in this area, said: "Sport is not only about competition and elite athletes. It is also not a universal remedy to development challenges, but under the right circumstances, it can convey important democratic principles such as tolerance, solidarity, cooperation and respect."

He added: "It can also foster inclusion for marginalised people and support vulnerable people, including girls and women, people with a disability, those living in conflict and people recovering from trauma."

The recommendations of the meeting are expected to support governments and sports bodies in member countries and position the Commonwealth as a leading site of progressive sport policy.