Match fixing in association football

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The issue of match fixing in association football has been described, in 2013, by Chris Eaton, the former Head of Security of FIFA (the sport's world governing body), as a "crisis",[1] while UEFA's president Michel Platini has said that if it continues, "football is dead."[2] Zhang Jilong, president of the Asian Football Confederation, has stated that it is a "pandemic."[3] The issue also affects a number of other sports across the world.[4]

In May 2011, world governing body FIFA announced an anti-match fixing plan,[5] and in September 2012 FIFA President Sepp Blatter warned that match-fixing endangered "the integrity of the game."[6] In September 2014 the Council of Europe also announced they would tackle the problem.[7]

A number of clubs in countries across the world have been subject to match fixing, including Australia,[8][9] China,[10] and Spain.[11][12] The South African national team has also been investigated.[13]

In the 18 months prior to February 2013, Europol investigated 680 matches in 30 countries.[14] In November 2013, 11 men were charged in Estonia with fixing 17 matches.[15]

The problem is often attributed to criminal gangs based in Asia,[16][17][18] who generate "hundreds of billions of euros per year."[19]

Players who have publicly rejected bribes have been praised.[20]

England[edit]

Six people, including three current players and ex-player Delroy Facey, were arrested in November 2013 on suspicion of match fixing.[21] Two Singaporean men were later charged,[22] while two non-league footballers for Whitehawk were also charged in December 2013.[23] As a result of this investigation, three people were jailed in June 2014.[24]

Later that month, professional footballer Sam Sodje was investigated after he was filmed by an undercover journalist claiming to have fixed matches; a total of six people were arrested,[25] including active player DJ Campbell.[26] Campbell was later cleared of all allegations.[27] Cristian Montaño was also named as one of those arrested, and he was later sacked by club Oldham Athletic.[28] Montaño later denied the accusations.[29] In March 2014 the six players were re-arrested, alongside seven new players, all based in North-West England.[30] The seven new players arrested were later named as John Welsh, Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davies and Graham Cummins (who all play for Preston North End), and Stephen Dawson (who plays for Barnsley); all seven stated they were innocent.[31] The men were late released from bail.[32] In January 2015 all 13 players were released without charge.[33]

Representatives from a number of sports met in December 2013 to discuss the issue,[34] while former player Alan Shearer stated there should be a "zero tolerance" approach to the problem.[35] Darren Bailey of the FA also stated that the country's gambling laws did not help in tackling match fixing in the sport.[36]

In June 2014, it was announced that 13 games were believed to have been fixed in British football during the 2013–14 season.[37]

On 1 September 2014 ex-professional player Delroy Facey was charged over alleged match fixing.[38]

France[edit]

In November 2014, the presidents of Ligue 2 clubs Caen and Nîmes were amongst several arrested on suspicion of match fixing. The arrests followed a 1–1 draw between Caen and Nîmes in May 2014, a result very beneficial for each club.[39][40]

Greece[edit]

Corruption has long been endemic in Greek football.[41]

Italy[edit]

Gennaro Gattuso was investigated for match fixing in December 2013.[42]

Romania[edit]

Sierra Leone[edit]

In July 2014 a total of 15 people were indefinitely suspended by the Sierra Leone Football Association over allegations of match-fixing - 4 players (Ibrahim Kargbo, Ibrahim Koroma, Samuel Barlay and Christian Caulker) as well as 3 referees and 8 officials, including Rodney Michael.[43] Koroma later denied the allegations,[44] and an inquiry into the allegations was also announced.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Match-fixing: Ex-Fifa security chief wants global intelligence body". BBC. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Michel Platini says match-fixing is biggest threat to future of football". BBC. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Football officials urge corruption action at Malaysia meeting". BBC. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Bill Wilson (23 November 2013). "World sport 'must tackle big business of match fixing'". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fifa unveils anti-match fixing plan". BBC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Bill Wilson (10 October 2012). "Fifa determined to tackle international match-fixing". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Mike Keegan (17 September 2014). "Match-fixing: Council of Europe set to introduce anti-corruption treaty". BBC. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "British players suspended by Fifa over match-fixing charges". BBC. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fifa bans English footballers for life after match fixing in Australia". BBC. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "China footballers and officials banned for match-fixing". BBC. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Spanish game investigated over possible match-fixing". BBC. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "La Liga chief: Eight to 10 Spanish matches 'fixed each season'". BBC. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Fifa backs South Africa match-fixing enquiry". BBC. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Declan Hill (5 February 2013). "Match-fixing: How gambling is destroying sport". BBC. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Estonia match-fixing: 11 charged on suspicion of fixing 17 games". BBC. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Matt Slater (8 February 2013). "European police blame Asian gangsters for match-fixing". BBC. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Jonah Fisher (5 March 2013). "Trailing Singapore's 'football match-fixing boss'". BBC. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Singapore police arrest 14 in match-fixing raids". BBC. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Match-fixing revenues comparable to global firms - Interpol". BBC. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Concacaf praises Belize players who rejected match bribe". BBC. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Six arrests in football match-fixing investigation". BBC. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Two charged over match-fixing claims". BBC. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Match fixing investigation: Two more charged". BBC. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Businessmen and footballer jailed over match-fixing". BBC News. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Six people held by police over football fixing claims". BBC. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "DJ Campbell held in football fixing probe". BBC. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  27. ^ Michael Morrison (8 August 2014). "Former Rovers striker DJ Campbell cleared over match fixing allegation". Lacashire Telegraph. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  28. ^ "Cristian Montano: Oldham sack winger after spot-fixing arrest". BBC. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Cristian Montano denies spot-fixing after Oldham dismissal". BBC. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Seven footballers arrested in spot-fixing investigation". BBC. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Dan Roan (4 April 2014). "Preston North End footballers bailed over spot-fixing probe". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Preston North End players released from bail in spot-fixing probe". BBC. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  33. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30815575
  34. ^ "Spot-fixing not widespread, FA says". BBC. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  35. ^ "Football fixing claims: Alan Shearer calls for zero tolerance". BBC. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  36. ^ Richard Conway (16 December 2013). "Gambling laws 'not fit for purpose' claims FA's anti-corruption boss". BBC. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  37. ^ "Football match fixing: 13 British games fixed - claims". BBC. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  38. ^ "Delroy Facey charged over match fixing allegations". BBC. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  39. ^ "Marseille arrests and match-fixing probe rock French football". France 24. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  40. ^ "Presidents of two French clubs arrested on match-fixing suspicions". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  41. ^ "Sixteen reportedly charged in Greek football match-fixing investigation". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  42. ^ "AC Milan star Gennaro Gattuso investigated for match fixing". BBC. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  43. ^ "Sierra Leone match-fixing: Captain Kargbo one of 15 suspended". BBC. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  44. ^ Ian Hughes (17 July 2014). "Sierra Leone's Ibrahim Koroma denies match-fixing claims". BBC. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  45. ^ Mohamed Fajah Barrie (23 July 2014). "Fifa backs Sierra Leone match-fixing inquiry". BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2014.