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Europol confirms what we all knew: Match fixing is rife across Europe.

By Tony Attwood

It is one of the central themes of Untold.  A theme that the Premier League in England refuses to look at or address.  A theme which is backed up by more and more evidence day after day.

A theme that simply says: match fixing is rife.  So rife in fact that in October 2011 in desperation Untold even put forward the notion that maybe Arsenal ought to get themselves involved in match fixing since everyone else seemed to be doing it.  We also provided evidence for one of the most blatantly fixed matches in the Champions League in November 2010

Now support for that theme has come from Europol.  Because it is Europol they focus, as always, on match fixing for gambling purposes, rather than match fixing by clubs who seek to influence referees.  So it is not the same as what we look at, but the outcome is the same.  Results are not safe, matches are fixed.

A Europol spokesperson has said that Europol has uncovered an crime syndicate (amusing called in the UK press, an “organised crime syndicate” – which begs the question, what would a disorganised crime syndicate look like?) which is based in Asia (they are always based in Asia) that has influenced over 400 refs and assistant refs, club officials, and players.

Europol said matches affected include World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League ties plus games in 15 countries, including “several top football matches in European leagues”.  However Interpol says they have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

One interesting fact is that for the first time ever they have discussed the profit margin of match fixing.  Apparently it is around 40% of the level of investment.  Quite a nifty return.

So Interpol is saying that it has uncovered a major international network, but only seen about 10% of what is going on.  Officials have admitted that they have been taken by surprise at the scale of the criminal activity.  And one spokesperson said that it would be naive to assume that what goes on across Europe is not also happening in England.

They also say that a Champions League game in England is one of 380 matches that they have found to be fixed.  Which means that one of Arsenal, Man C, Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool are most likely to have played in the game – although of course they might not have been party to the fixing.

Judicial proceedings are said to be “ongoing” which is why no individual matches are being cited.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said that in Germany £1.73m is believed to have paid to those involved in match fixing.  He said also that 50 people arrested so far.

UEFA has said that they would co-operate with the investigation; but then the could hardly have said anything else.  But every competition that has been affected will now be seen as less reliable than it was seen previously.    If several dozen Champions League ties are being tampered with a season, as seems likely based on the information in the report, then the Champions League is meaningless.

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74 comments to Europol confirms what we all knew: Match fixing is rife across Europe.

  • avatar Willam

    I won’t be surprised it has taken root in England although there are no reports.

  • avatar mainman

    You are correct it is rife.

    Arsenal are one of the main teams under suspicion.

  • avatar Charlie

    Red card for van Persie “shooting after the whistle was blown” would qualify as a suspicious decision in an ECL game in my opinion. As decisions that influence games go that was quite a big one and a shockingly bad one. Interesting development anyway, will be paying close attention to this.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Could also have been the Spuds involved…….

  • avatar finsbury

    “It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe.”

    Some responses I have read written on other football blogs, by those who really should know better:

    ‘It could never happen here’
    ‘It all evens out in the end’
    ‘Those Italians are different…’ etc.

  • avatar timao

    Van Persie’s sending off in Barcelona was utterly incredible and indefensible. Overlooking Dirk Kuyt’s foul on Alexander Hleb in the Liverpool box; makes two CL decisions that cannot be explained. (The Ryan Babel dive/penalty in the 2nd leg only adds to the impression that Liverpool were ‘destined’ to win that tie.)

  • avatar AL

    Brings to mind a Channel 4 dispatches undercover sting that had one of these Asian fixers boasting how he had friends in the premiership, and how he could get almost anything he wanted. Will be watching this one with a lot of interest.

  • avatar Shard

    The CL is a joke in many ways already. Last season, once Chelsea beat Napoli in the second leg after AVB’s sacking, I just had this feeling that Chelsea would be allowed to win it. Everybody remembers them getting lucky against Barcelona, but Benfica’s president had some interesting remarks too. Note the referee’s name as well. The very same who was Arsenal’s home tie against Milan, where once he gave Van Bommel the yellow card in the opening few mins, he decided to give everything Milan’s way, and then squealed on Wenger when asked for an explanation of his performance, leading to a 3 game ban.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/benfica-president-says-refereeing-against-chelsea-was-scandalous-7621515.html

  • Tony, do you consider matches fixed even if one side involved in the match doesn’t know that?

    I’m glad that institutions outside FIFA and UEFA have been finally involved but I’m afraid it will turn out to be too much ado about nothing.

    First of all, they should go check international football. There are less matches that are played on international level and it should be easier to spot irregular ones.

    For instance, they could take a look at two matches that involved French national team. First, famous hand-balling by our own Thierry Henry against Ireland. We all know story about that match and that France qualified for WC 2010 (it would be better for them if they didn’t) thanks to goal scored after Henry’s hand-balling. Some might say that Irish were compensated for that lack of justice by getting Estonia in play-offs for EURO 2012, only team that they could beat.

    In October 2011 Bosnia and Herzegovina played against France at Stade de France. It was decisive match in group stage – if we won, we would qualify for EURO 2012 while the French would have to play in play-offs. Draw would do the job for the French as they had two points more than our national team. We were dominating in the first half, we were all over our opponents and that was rewarded with brilliant goal from Edin Džeko which was the only goal before half-time break.

    However, French team had additional strength – Scottish referee Craig Thomson. Video of his decisions that helped France reaching desirable result (1:1 draw) can be found on YouTube. For instance, Florient Malouda made a challenge on Mensur Mujdža. Our right full-back got his foot broken (he played a little bit more after that!) by that challenge but Thomson didn’t even awarded a foul!
    That wasn’t enough for the French team since our goalkeeper (and, hopefully, future Arsenal keeper) Asmir Begović was brilliant so Thomson had to create goal himself. Na$ri took the ball from Spahić but he made a foul while doing that which, of course, Thomson didn’t award. When Spahić fouled Na$ri on the edge of the box (foul was made outside the box), Thomson couldn’t wait to point to the spot. Na$ri himself scored and make it 1:1.

    Convenient trivia: both of these matches happened while Michel Platini has been UEFA president.

  • avatar Shard

    Also, the way Lyon scored the 7 goals they needed to qualify for the knockouts. Don’t remember who it was against, but I remember it meant that Ajax didn’t qualify.

    Of course, the Arsenal-Barca match was fixed too, with that referee going on to become the head of referees in Europe, but there have been many many others. I’m sure Chelsea fans will bring up their barca match in the years before too, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that being fixed either.

  • avatar Marcus

    It’s all conspiracy theories.
    +
    You’re a bad loser
    +
    It doesn’t happen in England, English sperm are irradiated to eliminate evil
    +
    You’re a conspiracy theorist
    +
    You wouldn’t complain if Arsenal won
    +
    Arsenal are crap and no amount of cheating matters

    Any other arguments I’ve forgotten?

  • avatar Marcus

    On a serious note I doubt very much that it will be “much ado about nothing”

    I can see class actions sweeping Europe as spectators demand reimbursement for a product that is defective.

    Probably also about time UK taxpayers brought a class action against the politicians for putting us in debt to the 4th generation and beyond, but I digress

  • @Shard – Lyon was playing against Dinamo Zagreb. Due to the fact Ajax had much better goal-difference before last week (their H2H was 0:0, 0:0) of the Group Stage – Ajax had +3 while Lyon was at -4. Dinamo had 1:1 at the half-time despite being with 10 men. In the second half Lyon scored six goals and progressed to Knockout Stage with former Dinamo defender Domagoj Vida (now in Dynamo Kyiv) winking at Batifembi Gomis after one of Lyon goals. Lyon got help in the other match of the group as well – Ahax had two clear goals against Real Madrid that were inexplicably disallowed (Real went on to win the match 3:0, goals were disallowed while it was still 0:1). It didn’t have anything to do with the fact Lyon had been representing Michel Platini’s France, I hope.

  • avatar goooner

    Hi Tony,
    do you have a link to the report?

  • avatar SouthernGunner

    Remember how Ajax ended up playing in Europa League last season? They lost on goal difference on the last group game, because Lyon somehow managed to put 7 goals past Zagreb (the exact number they needed to progress in the Champions League).

    There’s no way to say if i was fixed or not, but a lot of people considered the possibility when it happened.

  • avatar SouthernGunner

    Also, Spurs might be the team that was involved in the fixed CL game played in Englad, when ‘Arry was still manager.

  • avatar Afcnor

    What about the offside goal in the 06 final of champions league. When match fixing happend in norway last year it can happen anywhere!

  • avatar dan

    Off the point by a mile but may bring a smile to some:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O283MijqqxU

  • avatar Jimin

    Newcastle vs arsenal 4:4 almigty dowd? What of mic dean in arsenal games. Bias or fixing?

  • avatar para

    Come on people. People are living in a bubble of their own daydreaming.
    If the leading countries of the world got to that place because of their robbing and looting across the world, how can you not expect that. The world is not a nice place in reality, it just pretends to be. Its dog eat dog, whatever goes, goes, as long as you dont get caught, or have enough muscle(money) to be untouchable. Remember boxing, and the other sports that fixed results. Football is all about money changing hands, especially betting.
    Wake up people, take a look at history, Nothing has changed at all.
    Even the style of play by some teams, no skill, just bully boy tactics, makes football a war in some games.
    Its about winning, no matter how.
    The few people who do not have this mentality just do not survive.
    SAD.

  • avatar finsbury

    Hello Marcus,

    That is a comprehensive list!

  • avatar Shard

    And let’s not forget the ex-Southampton captain Claus Lundekvam, who said on a TV show that lots of players in the EPL took part in at least ‘spot-fixing’ for money. Throw-ins, corners, penalties etc. FIFA took that admission to initiate an investigation, brushing it under the carpet in reality. Nothing has been heard of it since then.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Agree Marcus, they cannot let this go. The sheer numbers supposedly involved show the seriousness of all this. This is not confined to a handful of crooks. The minute it becomes apparent many games have had a predetermined outcome, there are huge implications for sponsors, fans, competitions, the whole sport and the law.doing nothing will not be an option. This will go right up to the top, and could be the final nail in the coffin of FIFA as we know it. Of course there is no suggestion an English club was actively involved, but looking at our Cl clubs over the last few years, I would say there is one manager, if not his club …..of whom nothing would surprise me, there is another club, one of its ex managers especially and a senior player, nothing would surprise me of any of those. There is another club with a manager who knows how to exert his influence, but not sure they would collaborate with Asian match fixers then there are two or three clubs, I would be very surprised if anyone to do with them were involved, but you never know. Wonder if any of our refs are implicated in this, or are they just involved in domestic Manc fixing?

  • avatar Marcus

    We shall see. I would expect an honest referee to break cover if he knows something is serious, because keeping stum is now not an option.

    Clattenburg strikes me as a decent ref…

  • avatar AL

    Gooner
    You may want to take a look at this;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21319807

    And they say the champions league game under investigation WAS played in England.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Charlie @Shard I for one do not believe that Arsenal vs Barcelona game was fixed. The decision to send RVP off was perhaps harsh and biased but not likely to be driven by match fixing. First, it wouldn’t make sense financially. Barcelona were huge favorites to progress so the stakes were against Arsenal. Not much opportunity for profit by ‘helping’ Barca. From that point of view it would have been much more profitable to ‘help’ Arsenal. Secondly, how would you explain missed pentalty against Arsenal in the first half?

    @Shard Chelsea winning CL was probably lucky but lucky doesn’t mean fixed. Do you have any episodes in mind in the Chelsea games against Napoli, Barca or Bayern that you deem suspicious?

  • avatar Adam

    I reckon it was the Chelsea Vs Barca game.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Adam 2009 or 2012 game?

  • avatar Lanz

    I appreciate most of the comments as they highlight the importance of this unfortunate matter nevertheless you guys will permit me to share the lighter aspects of the article: Tony’s question on the difference between “organized crime syndicate” and the “disorganized crime syndicate”. Would anyone assist Tony here please?

  • avatar Andrei

    I’m bit surprised that the money involved is relatively small. It means it cannot be a high profile game like Chelsea vs Barca semifinal. Not that the parties involved are not corrupt it is just it takes more money to buy them. So it has to be some low profile group stage game with a ‘lesser’ opponent and unexpected outcome or unusual score. So far there are three games that fit the pattern all involving MU

    CL 2009-10 group stage:

    MU – CSKA Moscow 3:3
    MU – Besiktas 0:1

    CL 2011-12

    MU – Basel 3:3

  • avatar AL

    Lanz
    I guess disorganized crime syndicate would be caught at the first attempt, so not really much of a threat. Organized is systematic, involves very careful planning & precise to the last detail, difficult to detect, and hence more of a threat.

  • avatar Mick

    Who was the premier league ref who, a few years ago, I believe was stood down for a season or two because of links to a bookmaker or betting in some way.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Mick, you will be so incredibly surprised to know the ref you refer to is mike dean

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/4301613.stm

  • avatar Stuart

    RE: Josif @ 3.44pm

    A team doesn’t have to be in on the match fixing, it just takes a gambling syndicate who stand to make lots of money out of it to pay off a ref.

  • avatar Mick

    @ Mandy
    As Victor Meldrew would say ‘I don’t believe it!’ What an extraordinary coincidence!
    Could we not drop a subtle hint in the direction of the people conducting the investigation, given his betting links and his obvious suspicious statistical record when reffing Arsenal matches.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Quite. I do not see how he is allowed to continue refereeing after that. Would be like a high court judge being allowed back on the circuit after it was discovered he was an associate of the Kray twins…..ok maybe that is a bit more drastic, but you get the picture. On mike dean, I really hope Ivan is using his new found influence to ensure we get him less often, and when we do get him, he is fair.. Cannot wait to see what the footballisfixed blog which is starting up again this month has to say about all this

  • avatar Nannu

    Manchester United – who did they buy?”Sums up the bloke at the minute.Ignore United being 21 points ahead of us.Ignore the fact that they were 7 (now 9) points clear and are more or less nailed-on for the title.Ignore the fact that we have embarrassing gaping deficiencies in the squad that they don’t.Ignore the fact that they made the necessary purchases to strengthen their squad in the summer whereas we sold our best player.Well done Arsene, spot on again!

  • avatar Adam

    @Andrei, 2009 and its just a guess, read your later comment and kind of agree. No matter which way this goes, football loses out. too many wierd decisions in football matches leave me feeling that some other influence is at work.

  • avatar FunGunner

    This is very interesting and I hope the investigation doesn’t all dribble away to nothing. I am DYING to know who the teams were in England.

    Also we should remember that players can be suborned as much as refs.

  • avatar Mick

    @Nannu
    Have read your comment, such as it is. What exactly has it got to do with the matter in hand, namely match fixing.

  • avatar Stuart

    Nannu,
    What’s that got to do with it?

  • avatar Adam

    Its my understanding that an investigation only takes place if a betting company reports excessive betting. Does anyone know if this is true or does anyone visiting this site work for a bookies?

  • avatar robl

    @ Andrei, I’m with you, it’s only worth fixing if the outcome is unlikely (and consequently the odds are high enough). So the only way Arsenal – Barca may have been fixed (outside of buying off the ref for a win) is if there was spread betting on particular scores or red cards etc.

    More likely for a week team to beat a better team.

  • avatar Shard

    Andrei

    As mentioned in the article, there are two types of fixing. Not all fixing is explicable by simply looking at betting patterns, or even by money being transferred (at least not directly) I don’t really understand betting and so I am unable to say if you are completely correct in your assertion that it would only make sense to fix in favour of the underdog.

    But regardless, in my opinion, that match was fixed, and not just in relation to the RVP red card. Not giving a penalty (it wasn’t quite as stonewall a penalty) first up, is akin to giving a yellow card to Van Bommel in the AC Milan game. Nip any suggestion of favouritism, or fixing, in the bud, and then proceed down that path anyway.

    As for Chelsea’s CL campaign, I don’t remember them off hand, but there were a few highlight reel incidents, but apart from that, there were a lot of calls in their favour. Whichow referees influence most matches. Unless they panic and need a Busacca moment.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    We must keep in mind that there are two (ore even more) types of fixing. The two teams agreeing a result before kick off but also the ref who tries to achieve a desired result without the teams knowing about it.

  • avatar Andrei

    @Shard I was referring to match fixing related to gambling and provides reasons I don’t think it wasn’t the case in Barcelona vs Arsenal game. You don’t have to be an expert to conclude that the potiential profit would not justify the extra expense and risk associated with trying to rig the outcome. Do not forget we are talking about maximizing the probability of desired outcome as much as possible not just influencing the game in a general way.

  • avatar sperez

    UCL 2006 semifinal, Camp Nou, Barcelona x AC Milan. Shevchenko’s perfectly legal goal was disallowed. The game ended in a draw,0x0. This result secured Barcelona a place in the final.
    If AC Milan had won 0x1, the game would have gone into extra time. AC Milan were gaining momentum in the game and I believe Arsenal would have faced the Italian side instead of Robarcelona were it not for the dodgy refereeing.

  • avatar AL

    Mandy
    Think that must be the game. It’s said texts that were obtained by the police show people were unhappy with Gerard missing sitters, so even though the daily mail usually sensationalise stuff I think there must be something in this for them to come out with this. And it appears they’re acknowledging the source too. Interesting.

  • avatar Dan T

    At last!! Now nobody can bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is ok in world football. This has been coming for a long time. The next step is to root out those not looking for gambling profits but for those looking to secure league positions.

    As far as gambling profits goes, there is no reason why Arsenal and Man U and Wycombe Wanderers wouldn’t all be involved in equal proportions. Often ‘match fixing’ for gambling gains will not involve changing the result of the game but just ensuring one team has a goal-kick at a given time or something similar(very easy to speak to one player and have this arranged and much easier than fixing a result).

    Hopefully this investigation will go further than this and look into the bribing of officials for match results as has been obvious for years with Barca in the champions league and Man U in the EPL.

  • avatar Dan T

    One further point; Although it would appear very unlikely that Arsenal are involved in bribing officials to win games (I say very unlikely because it is clearly very rare that a referee will be in our favour, as shown by your reviews). There is nothing to say that Arsenal players and coaches have not been involved in ‘match fixing’ for gambling gains. Things that may seem quite innocent at the time, such as kicking the ball out for a goal-kick in the 4th minute, or for the manager to make a substitution in the 81st minute. (Like John Higgens missing a pink off the spot in a particular frame)

    I’m not saying this is the case, but I think it would be far too presumptious to assume that no member of Arsenal football club has ever been involved at all, given the fact that it is clearly so rife within the game we love.

  • avatar elkieno

    Well well well, not so paranoid after all hey Tony?
    Well done to keep banging in about it Untold, something is definitely wrong here.
    Watch this space..
    @ nannu: Mate all u can say is haha your comprehension skills leave much to be desired, read the article again out loud… For the record ahh bugger it your not worth a reply to ur our if blue comment!

  • avatar Dan T

    @Andrei

    It may not be that the Arsenal Barca game was fixed as far as the result goes. It may be that a large bet was placed on Van Persie (or just an Arsenal player (or any player between 50 and 60 minutes)) being dismissed during the game and the referee was ‘persuaded’ to ensure this particular bet was not a gamble. This then had a bearing on the result but the actual scoreline may not have been on the agenda on this occasion.

    Just a thought, I just feel that that particular decision was so so abnormal that it cannot be ruled out as being suspicious.

  • avatar weedonald

    As a former professional referee, I can state that getting to officials in order to influence a game result is actually quite easy. The referees are always sequestered from anyone else and access to their dressing room or wherever they arrive in the stadium is not seriously supervised by anyone usually. However any influence buying would usually take place before the match and rarely involve all 4-5 officials, as that is quite a group to take a risk with.
    It seems to me that influencing a game would go through the officials first and then the goalkeepers and defender second. If a keeper drops a clanger, everyone groans but nobody screams cheat. If a defender drags down an opponent in the penalty area, its squeaky-bum time for the fans but nobody screams match fixing. If either player was paid off to provide a clanger, or penalty it is almost impossible to prove that it was. imagine the referee ANd the defender knowing that sometime during the game a penalty was due to happen and it would be so obvious that nobody would dare complain!
    Tony, organized crime syndicates are usually world religions and disorganized crime syndicates are usually governments!!!

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Al, that Liverpool Debrecen now being mentioned in a few sources, though all at pains to say Liverpool themselves were not part of it, with the focus on the opposing keeper. Maybe the arsenal barca game was not necessecarily fixed by organised crime , but it was certainly fixed by someone……and Nicholas bendtner! One of the things that got me in that game was the barca players grabbing arsenal players throats right in front of the ref, who did nothing about that, but sent off our danger player for nothing. A fix is a fix, whether it be a eufa influenced biased ref, or a gangster, it is all the same thing, and the authorities need to get a hold of it…….just hope they are not as shy of dealing with this as they are with the games other big problems, namely racism……and probably ffp

  • avatar Dan T

    @Mandy

    I had forgotten all about the throat grabbing in that game. That was disgraceful, it was almost as if the Barca players knew they were untouchable and could get away with anything.

  • avatar Charlie

    @Andrei. Match fixing cannot be an exact science. If you aim to fix it so the underdog wins you are going to struggle. If you want to fix it so the favourite wins you can normally do that with a few favourable decisions because that favourite will probably have most of the possession. Also fixing matches so the underdog wins is much more obvious. The most important thing in match fixing, not that i’m an expert, is to ensure the result you desire in the subtlest way possible. That normally means ensuring that the favourite wins. If you can continue doing this over many matches the punters make more money than if you attract the attention of the authorities on the first attempt or, worst case scenario, the match result turns out different to what you promised.

  • avatar Charlie

    @Dan T you make an excellent point. You can bet on anything now so it doesn’t have to be the score or the result. Van Persie to get sent off is something that could be bet on. Obviously if someone decided to bet 5m on Van Persie getting sent off and it happenned that would be suspicious but I suppose they would spread the bets over numerous bookies to make it less obvious. Bookings and red cards are the easiest things to bet on. You only need to bribe either a ref or a player to make it happen. To fix a result takes a bit of luck but players know how to get themselves sent off and most players commit at least two fouls in a game.

  • avatar Charlie

    @Andrei. Finally, just to emphasise my first point, Juventus were found guilty of match fixing when they were Champions of Serie A. If they were fixing matches they were fixing them so the favourite (themselves) won the match. You could argue the purpose was to achieve success rather than to make money but would it have gone unnoticed for so long if it had been a team at the bottom of Serie A fixing matches in their favour ? Also you know that people were making money by betting on the results of these fixed matches, many players have been found guilty of that.

  • avatar Gf60

    There are some games when I have to confess that I’ve wondered if someone’s drugged Arsenal’s water bottles!

    But seriously, what better reason for stalling video replays than a fixed game? We know that FIFA have many questionable officials…several of whom have been banned… and the ultimate football rules/law fixer (?breaker?) is….?? Correct answers don’t win a prize but may raise a smile.

  • avatar Tasos

    I’m interested to know exactly where these people had their bets accepted.

    Placing bets is not as simple as many believe.

    And anyone placing unusual large sums of money in Britain are sure to send alarm bells ringing.

    Gambling is scrutinised now more than at any-time ever before and any “suspicious betting activity” is sure to attract investigation.

    Many gambling companies now work with sports governing bodies (SGBs). The process of sharing information with SGBs through ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ (MOU) including the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the English Football Association (FA), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ensure sport is conducted fairly and is free of corruption.

    Recent investigations include Ipswich’s Michael Chopra and ex-Manchester United player Mark Wilson who were given 10-year bans from racing after a corruption inquiry. They were among nine found guilty in an investigation by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) into gambling on horses to lose.

    And snooker player Joe Jogia banned from the game following a probe into suspicious betting patterns.

  • avatar AL

    Dan T
    You are quite right there, its called spot betting.There are basically two types of betting, conventional betting which bets on overall result of the game, and spot betting which can be anything occuring during the game, and has nothing to do with the final outcome. Spot betting is more difficult to detect, than say a team winning 8-0. This could have very well been the case with the RvP as you and Mandy point out. The ref may have been ordered to send off a player between a certain period, and many bets would have been placed on something along the lines of a player will be sent off in this period. Thats why the rvp sending off didn’t make any sense to anyone watching that game.

    Matt Le Tissier addmitted to taking part in his autobigraphy about kicking the ball out of play unecessarily after putting money with bookies that the first throw in of the match would happen within the first minute or something. Such things are heavily gambled on, and are difficult to detect as they appear as part of the game. While this liverpool game might have been fixed, I’d say there are many that may have been fixed here but the bets were not dependent on the final outcome. Fixers are clever, and they dont usually bet on the outcome as they know that can easily raise people’s suspicions. Talking of suspcious outcomes though, does anyone think the outcome of the 2005 champions league final between Milan & pool was tampered with? Milan’s performances in both halves were exactly the opposite of each other. After all its Italians we are talking about here:)

  • avatar AL

    Just realised Charlie had summed it up, sorry hadn’t read all the comments. Fixing outcomes doesn’t have as much money as spot bettings. There’s only three possible outcomes anyway, which doesn’t give huge odds or huge returns. But try and ask the odds that a certain defender will concede a free kick between the 10th and 15th minute, which will result in a goal, and see what sort of odds you get. If that happens, would anyone even think there was anything suspcious with that? No.

  • avatar Gouresh

    I am very sceptical about this investigation. remember big money and people in high places in the FIFA & UEFA could be involved. would they want their house of cards come crumbling down? i don’t think so. they will make a scrape-goat of some player or some ref and close the case. reminds me of the 90’s cricket scam in India.
    if they do a proper job on this and get all the accused, i will be happy, but not holding my breath.

  • avatar Stuart

    Al,
    Further to your comments, as the bets being placed are at high odds, the betting party would also be likely to have bet the same sort of thing a couple of time prior but without the fix in place in order to make it look like a more regular betting pattern. The third attempt on a 10-1 outcome is still going to make good money but the history would reduce the suspicion.

  • avatar AL

    Yes Stuart, I would imagine they would try things like that to obfuscate any obvious patterns. These are people who have earned billions from these things and have learned how to perfect act.

  • avatar AL

    Gouresh
    Agree. This invloves people at the top of the game who will do everything and anything not to go down. Our only hope is its it involves Interpol, but sure even they will find some stumbling blocks placed in their paths. What would be best is if someone implicated in this just decides they’re not going down alone, and names all the high-ranking people to have been involved in this.

  • avatar bob

    Dan T, Mandy Dodd,
    And how about x-Cesc’s CL back heel “miss” that gifted the goal chance to his Barfa-boyfriend. That was argued here last year by commenters who closely reviewed the video. Cesc would have had other more personal reasons for gifting that gift, but I don’t think he is exempt or has been exempt from all manner of outside pressures either.

  • Given that name of Barcelona is often mentioned, I wouldn’t split this story from the story France Football recently published regarding something called “Qatargate”.

    Fact 1 – Qatar will organize World Cup 2022.

    Hypothesis (still unproven) – former French president Nicolas Sarkozy invited Michel Platini on dinner with himself and Prince of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalif Al-Thani to persuade former best player in the world to vote for Qatar in exchange for bribe and investment in French football.

    Fact 2 – Qatar Investment Authority became major owner of PSG shares (they bought 70 percent).

    Fact 3 – Barcelona had some questionable victories in Champions’ League ever since Platini became UEFA chairman in 2007.

    Fact 4 – BBC reported that Barcelona signed sponsorship deal with Qatar Foundation on 10th December 2010, 8 days after Qatar was announced as host of World Cup 2022.

    Fact 5 – Josep Guardiola was an ambassador of Qatar’s bid.

    It has been revealed that seven matches were fixed in Bosnia. I’m surprised that number of fixed matches wasn’t even bigger given that, according to some semi-official reports, Bosnian league (as well as Serbian) was subjected to something called “three for three”. Three for three means two clubs agree that each of those clubs will win their home match.

  • Interesting times, Tony; maybe there is finally a chink of light at the end of this darkest of tunnels?

    We wait with baited breath and live in hope.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I read a report the other day from I think Declan Hill(?) about Dan Tan the man who is named as one of the people involved in the fixing.
    But it drew a rather dreadful picture as the person was allowed to speak at an Interpol congress but his accusations on this Dan Tan were not written down in the final report.
    Interpol has an international search warrant against this Dan Tan but he is hidden in Singapore and the government there doesn’t pick him up.
    And Interpol doesn’t seem too much bothered to put pressure on the government.

    And to close the circle…Interpol will open an office in Singapore.

    So if you get the point….it’s all about politics and maybe giving Interpol that office is a way of making sure that this Dan Tan remains free in his home country?

    Well that is what I remember but must say that I have read so much about it the last days that some facts could have been mixed up but that was the general line of the article I read. And I lost the link so can’t find it back

  • avatar none

    Have a read of http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21333930 its quite interesting. He makes a lot of suggestions, but as usual they seem to stem around the players/coaches.

    Im amazed that no one has pointed out that neither the FA (and EPL) or the PGMOL are public bodies and as such are accountable to no one. There needs to be far greater transparency in the way that these two organisations work and by extension UEFA and FIFA.

    We have already seen that FIFA has had a number of corruption claims laid at its doors. Are the press in this country really that naive as to think that there is no corruption in positions of power at the FA/EPL. Or are they aware of it and seeking to draw attention on to the players instead?

    @ Mandy Todd – its been confirmed that the English team from the CL match was Liverpool. Check here http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21335331
    As for the big issues, its been suggested that Racism is dealt with by a simple handshake, perhaps corruption (and bias) will be dealt with by a hug between managers?

  • avatar none

    Again from the BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21340269

    Quote:
    “Coleman, who has managed in Spain and Greece, said he witnessed on-field events that “made me raise an eyebrow”.
    But he believes the game in Britain is unblemished.
    Coleman, who managed Spain’s Real Sociedad between 2007 and 2008 and Larissa in Greece between 2010 and 2011, recalled games where he saw players “doing some crazy things” and “referees making crazy decisions”.
    “You come off, and you are scratching your head and you are thinking: ‘Something [is] not quite right’.
    “But how do you prove that, especially when you are a manager or a player or a coach?”

    Again, I think we are being naive if we are suggesting that corruption or bias is just a foreign problem.

    But for the referees there are somethings that we could try:

    – Publish where each Ref is from (already done).
    – Produce and list the directives that are given to the referees at the start of each season. I presume that this would be the FIFA Laws of the Game and in addition any particular local laws. Make sure that these are available publicly and are shown on FA/EPL/PGMOL/UEFA/FIFA web sites.
    – Make referees accountable for their decisions (when wrong). Players are shown yellow/red cards and coaches are given bans. This could be in the form of a ‘controlled’ interview after the match with one/two people asking questions and the ref explaining why they made the decision he/she did. This then also fulfils the idea that the PGOML are actually educating the public about what referees are doing. Referees gaining enough “yellow” cards could then see himself banned from the next series of matches or demoted to lower leagues or have a financial penalty.
    – All referees are judged in assessments after each match. Publish these along with the names (and affiliation) of the reviewers. This would avoid for example Pat Rice reviewing Arsenal matches and downgrading a ref due to quite obvious bias.