By Tony Attwood
Football matches are fixed either by bribing players or slipping favours to the ref. It has happened all over Italy, and in many other places too. There’s even be arrests of players in England and everyone knows we are cleaner than clean.
But now, it seems, even the World Cup is fixed. Or at least it is said that two countries qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by fixing their way in.
Wilson Raj Perumal says he was part of a syndicate that fixed loads of matches all over the world. And he says in his new book he helped Nigeria and Honduras to reach the finals. That’s in addition to fixing loads of international friendlies through working with referees and players.
Perumal, who claimed he could make £3m in a single night on a fixed match, was finally arrested in Helsinki in 2011, sentenced to two years in prison but then co-operated with the authorities and handed over the names of other match fixers.
As a result of that Europol said in 2013 that over 380 professional games in Europe and over 300 games elsewhere that they knew about were suspicious.
Part of the deal he had with countries was that in returning for aiding qualification he was able to organise the warm-up matches, which he could then fix. He also got some of the money Fifa supposedly paid Nigeria in return for qualifying.
He has also been involved in arranging for bogus African teams to play official friendlies and reach the result he wanted. And as if that were not enough he says he was involved in bribing electricians in England to put out the floodlighting during the second half of a game if the score was advantageous. Remember Wimbledon?
Not every bribe works however and Perumal admits that his attempts to bribe two Premier League goalkeepers failed.
Does it all come as any surprise? No, of course not. All you have to do is read the predictions on Untold about referee performances and then watch them happen.