By Walter Broeckx
Untold Arsenal has always been one of those blogs that is very open to the thought that games can be bought in some way, either by buying some player(s) or is it by buying a ref.
Why a player or a ref is bought for is something we don’t know yet. I know of a few local cases in my country of such things but there is no general line to draw on this. It can have all kind of reasons but most of the time money is the one that comes back in all cases. Maybe not as the main reason because some personal preferences can be involved also and then the money is less important but still nice as some kind of risk coverage.
So when I saw what happened in the Newcastle-Arsenal game I instantly knew something was wrong. I cannot prove anything or tell the reason why Dowd felt it necessary to do what he did but if you want a classic example of a ref that is not following the rules and the instruction and only is doing this in favour of one team than this is a case study to examine for all and everyone who wants to have a closer look at how a ref performance can turn a game upside down. But this was clear to see that the ref was acting in a very suspicious way in this game.
Now I know a lot of people don’t want to know about such things. And then they ask us to come up with some evidence. Now we are just part time writers on a blog and we don’t have any possibility to run our own investigations. We cannot do phone tapping, we cannot follow people. I think if we would do such things we would be in serious troubles ourselves – as the Murdoch empire that runs the News of the World and other newspapers is now finding out.
But what we can do is look at some things that have been exposed on this website. The ref predictions from Dogface that were spot on. My own ref reviews and the fact that from the numbers it showed that there is something rotten in the state of Refland. Something we will explore more from next season on if all goes as planned.
And when we keep those things in mind and look at the rest of the world we can see that there is something very rotten in a lot of parts in the world.
Let us take a few examples. In Argentina a former ref in the highest division who stopped last season said that he had proof of a lot of teams bribing the refs. By paying them money before the game and even during half time in order to change the outcome of the game. And for those who say: “No, a ref cannot change the result of a game” or say “We should be stronger and then the ref cannot do us anything,” I think it is time to try and let this sink a bit deeper in your brains. Because tell me if it didn’t work why would those teams give extra money to the refs in order to change the result?
And when this former ref came out in the open with his findings he also said that River Plate didn’t pay what they promised to the refs and that as a result they were heading for trouble. And trouble they are heading for because for the first time in their history they have been relegated to the second division in Argentina. And even serious news agencies have reported that River Plate has been the victims of a lot of referee mistakes this season. So it does look that the refs had a role to play in this. Just like the former ref said would happen.
Oh well this is Argentina you might say. Let’s go a bit closer to home. Let us go to Greece. Where there also have been some arrests lately where games have been sold by some clubs. And also in this case refs have been named and (if my information is correct) have been arrested. Some 64 people have been arrested in total. Oh this is Greece some might say.
Well let us go to Germany where players have been bought and where ref Hoyzer admitted that he had arranged games. He was paid by gambling syndicates and was send to prison for this.
And now we have a scandal in Hungary. Seven persons have been arrested in Budapest a few days ago. 3 former players amongst them. But also 4 refs that still were active at the moment they were arrested. And to make things worse those refs were Fifa refs. Those Fifa refs are being arrested for match fixing commissioned by again a criminal gang from the far east.
Being a Fifa ref is the highest category you can reach as a ref. You could say that participating on a world cup is the highest thing for a player, becoming a Fifa ref is also the highest thing to reach as a ref. This is the category where Webb and Dean are for the moment. And yet their colleagues who have reached the same high level in refereeing have been bought to change the result of games.
In total the criminal gang has been trying to buy 6 games and in 4 of them with success. Games in Finland, Hungary, and even some countries in South America. And 3 of those 4 refs also had been suspended by Fifa after some strange international friendly games. Estonia-Bulgaria (2-2) and Bolivia-Latvia (2-1) where all the goals came as the result of a penalty.
So you have Fifa refs doing such things. And as I said Fifa refs are very well treated by Fifa and Uefa. Doing international games is something that is very well rewarded financially by Uefa/Fifa. It gives you a lot of extra money and you get the best travelling arrangements, the best hotels, the best food. All you can think of and all you can wish for. And like I said you get good money for doing such games. And still refs are willing to risk their status for even more money. They even risk to be send to jail for more money. Human greed is a strange thing.
So there are plenty of examples of refs who are being bought if you want to know about it. Some will still close their eyes and say it will not happen here. And yes it could well be that English refs are not greedy. Maybe they are immune to money. Maybe for some genetically reason they cannot be bribed. This would be great. But when you think of Newcastle-Arsenal you wonder…are we really immune? Are you absolutely 100% sure those things are impossible in England? If you do, I sure hope that Santa Claus will bring you a lot of presents this winter. My sock stays empty unless my wife and children put something in it.
But telling you a lot is wrong is one thing. Proposing how this can be prevented is another thing. Because refs are human being and we all have our dark sides. We all make mistakes. But if we really want to do something about it, we should make it almost impossible to let it happen. But in order to reach this state it will need a total rethinking of the game.
We will have to bring in people who watch the refs on the spot. Like in many other sports is used we will have to use video technology to help the refs to make the correct decisions. We will have to have a video ref who can look at the crucial decisions like goals and penalties to see if something was wrong or to confirm it all was correct. This will not be easy to do at first. But if we don’t do something about it, things could become worse. The more money involved the more money that could be given to refs (or players) in order to arrange some things. It happened in the past, it happens now and it will happen in the future.
Unless Fifa is willing to do something about it. Will they do such a thing? Are Fifa, an organisation that itself is famous for their corruption, act to keep our sport clean? Or will they brush it under the carpet and let the bad guys ruin the game until we all turn our head disgusted by the wrong things we notice?
So Fifa for the sake of the game bring in:
– video evidence during the game for important decisions
– an open and for all to see rating of the refs
– punishment of refs who under perform
– reduce the possible impact of any mistake on the field by a ref
Remove the crooks from the game. Remove the incompetents from the game. We will be watching you and we will report it when we hear and see some things going wrong.
And as long as Fifa is not making this happening we over here at Untold will just do our best to keep an eye on what the refs do. Not for the benefit of Arsenal. But for the benefit of football in general.