Top football match fixing ScandalsSubscribe to RSS Feed
With football being the most popular sport in the world one can imagine that people will do anything to win, or lose provided they have money invested as a sportsbetting punter. If you can influence the outcome of the game then there is a hefty profit to be made. Football is an intense sports where a millimeter can mean a big difference like hitting the cross bar and missing or scoring the game winner. Likewise it doesn’t take much for a player to fall down in the box and the referee to blow the whistle to award a free kick. There have been many football controversies over the years whether it’s league play, the Euro championship or the World Cup. Let’s look into some of the top match fixing scandals to come out of the wonderful sport of football.
1997 Malaysian floodlights scandal
In February 1999 a Malaysian betting group (syndicate) was caught trying to sabotage the floodlights at Charlton Athletic’s Ground. A security officer was bribed so they could get access to the lights. As crazy as this sounds the principle is if at half time the betting syndicate has the outcome they want for the match then they can just cause a floodlight failure and then the result becomes a final betting results giving them the win and payout. This might sound like a clever idea but if you do it a few times and put very large amounts of money bet on games that normally don’t get much betting volume, this will certainly draw attention and it did. After catching the group previous ‘floodlight’ incidents were investigated and it was revealed the group had been responsible for light failures at West Ham in 1997 and at Crystal Palace. It just shows that some people will go to great lengths for money.
2005 Bundesliga Scandal
Upon hearing of the football scandal involving the Bundesliga it was unthinkable that the Germans would allow something like this to happen. This experience only proves that betting scandals can happen anywhere and maybe most people have their own price. For referee Robert Hoyzer he thought the price was right. Who knows how much money he made but he was later caught and admitted to match fixing involving Croatian gambling syndicates. He reported other referees that were involved and admitted to the allegations but didn’t reveal he was involved in more. Hoyzer got 2 years and 5 months in jail and of course will never be allowed to referee another game again.
2006 Serie A scandal
Italians are passionate about the game of football and why not. The Serie A is big business and most of the country lives and breathes football. They have won the World Cup 4 times and in 2010 Inter Milan won the Champions League title and won almost all trophies you could possibly imagine. Back in 2006 one of the biggest football scandals ever rocked Europe as managers were implicated in match fixing by negotiating which referees would work their games. Although not a lot has been proven in the legal system you can imagine that if a manager was constantly getting a certain referee to always work your games and always got calls your way, it makes you wonder if the referees were enjoying some of the results of these match fixes.
The result? Juventus was stripped of it’s titles and forced to play in the 2nd division and stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles. The names and lists of teams involved is exhausting but a world class club like Juventus was dealt the harshest of penalties and fines as they went from one of the top football clubs in Europe to rarely being mentioned in European football. They certainly don’t challenge for the Serie A title like they used to dominate in the past.
2009 Europe wide scandal
In November 2009 a Europe wide football scandal hit the news with most of the football leagues being named. Although none of the leagues included UK, Spain, Germany, France or Italy, it was still large enough to cause concern of all football governing bodies. Over 200 games were involved and investigated spanning the leagues in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria. One of the main clubs involved in the scandal includes Macedonian side FK Pobeda. The referees involved are also being investigated. The whole scandal was a long investigation that involved irregular betting and wire tapping catching organized criminal gangs.
2010 Turkish football match-fixing
40 more people have been arrested as leagues in Turkey which links the 200 games found of match fixing back in 2009. In early 2010 it was revealed from wire tapping that a German betting ring was involved in match fixing in Turkey. One of the stars of Turkish football Arif Erdem was released and denies any involvement in the match fixing that allegedly took place. The BBC article of the news of the arrests only questions whether these match fixing scandals are bigger than they could have ever imagined.
Betting on football world wide is an industry that is worth many billions. If you got players making say 200,000 euros per year then it’s hard for them to turn down 25,000 in a cash payment to affect the outcome of the game. All you have to do is get a red card and you have hurt your team. It can be said the same for referees who already have a lot risked with delirious fans. There are not many people who can control a game better than Lionel Messi unless you’re the referee. Of course referees earn the least amount of money on the pitch so it should be assumed these are the people targeted by criminal organizations for match fixing.
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