Exclusive: Uefa admit match fixing is now too big for them to fight it.

By Tony Attwood, (and I rather think this might be an exclusive in the UK – although not in Europe where match fixing is something to be investigated not hidden).

We don’t use the word “exclusive” much here.  Indeed the biggest exclusive that we have run – the story that the US police were within the coming months going to arrest Fifa members on Swiss soil – wasn’t even labelled an exclusive, although I suspect it was – at least in the UK.  (There are links to that story at the end of this little piece).

And indeed  the story that Uefa is struggling in its attempt to take on match fixing is not itself an exclusive at all.   In fact it was way back in February 2013 that the New York Daily News ran the headline “Soccer at a crossroads as sport faces epic fight against match fixing”.   (Again not a story that the UK media ran – odd that).

That story suggested that 203 games monitored by Fifa in one year were clearly fixed.  And that is just the number that were fixed out of the monitored games.   The actual number where something is seriously wrong is much much higher.  Massive in fact.

But the story didn’t make the English press, and on the rare occasions they do say anything it, is always a case of naughty foreigners and Far East gambling syndicates.  Rarely if ever does it go beyond that, to consider what actually happened in the several Italian match fixing scandals that were revealed which had nothing to do with gambling and everything to do with clubs bribing referees through what we dubbed “Type 3 match fixing”.  (That is to say where the executives of one club bribe the referee in a match involving a rival, for that rival club to lose).

But now an article in LeTemps, the Swiss French language newspaper has spilled the beans.  Their headline translates as

UEFA admits the problem of match-fixing.

“In a statement released Oct. 18, UEFA acknowledges its inability to cope with the plague of fixed matches. The organisation has launched a call for tenders that sounds like a call for help to find ways to stem this growing threat.”

The report (obviously translated here from the French) continues…

“In Europe, the rigging of football matches is booming and taking on worrying proportions. Without much fuss but with surprising clarity, UEFA has announced that fact through a statement on its website on October 18. The governing body of European football testifies to its inability to stem the scourge by itself and calls for tenders running open until Monday, October 28 “to conduct a study to examine ways to strengthen the capabilities of football in investigation and prosecution of match-fixing.”

Romain Molina, a highly respected independent investigator into the economics of football stated that, “The transparency of the announcement surprised me a lot.   This is not a classic speech and a bit vague about the fight against match fixing. No, it must be realized: UEFA is publicly calling for help. There is really a fire burning on the lake. European Union President Aleksander Ceferin even said: ‘We need to do more to aggressively fight match-fixing, because collectively and individually we do not have not enough resources’.”

So they have put the matter out to tender.   And in case you are one of those people who believe that Untold makes all this stuff up, and that if any of it were real it would be in the English papers, here we are…


Now this story is in the European and the USA media, but… oh, goodness me, what a total surprise, at least at the moment when I prepared this little piece (26 October) there was not a single sausage, not a smidgen, not a nothing, about it in the English media.

And yes that url above is a link to the real actual uefa site and it has not been hacked.   While the entire UK media, the FA, the Premier League and everyone else except it seems little Untold Arsenal is ignoring the subject (and even we’ve backed off quite a bit of late simply because I got fed up with the level of abuse I got from people who for various reasons want to deny even the possibility of match fixing going on) Uefa has been looking at reality (something that the English media know nothing about) and admitted that they can’t stop it.

Here is what they say (in part)…

“The problem of Match-fixing has increased in recent years and, despite the excellent work
done, the capacity of UEFA and other sports bodies to fight it has not grown in line with the
threat. Sport leaders have repeatedly stated that sport itself does not have the means to
effectively counter Match-fixing – only state authorities do – which must be done

“UEFA wishes to select one or several company(ies) for the provision of commissioning external research to be conducted with the objective to evaluate whether international cooperation  between football bodies, state authorities, and other stakeholders can be better structured, resourced, and more independent in a more effective way.”

Later they say they want firms to “Conduct a thorough assessment, benchmarking, and extensive consultation process with stakeholders and experts; and provide a detailed and comprehensive report on possible structures to address such challenges detailed therein.

Maybe Untold Arsenal should apply.   Or at least make all our research in terms of the 160 games file (still on line at Untold) to show what is going on.

By the time you read this maybe the UK media will have caught up a little, but certainly they are way way behind on this story at the time we published this.

And if you’d like to go back to our earlier little triumph concerning breaking the first Fifa corruption story you might enjoy

Switzerland take a greater interest in Fifa – at last

and then when all hell broke loose and Fifa were taken by surprise

If Fifa execs had read Untold in January they would have known they were going to be arrested

It doesn’t happen very often, but I do rather enjoy it when we are right.

19 Replies to “Exclusive: Uefa admit match fixing is now too big for them to fight it.”

  1. Tony, what do you expect with the selective vision that the FA & their lapdogs the PGMOL utilise. They choose what to see & what to penalise. Theirs is type A corruption.

  2. Watching the City v Villa match, the selective vision continues. Grealish gets away with a second yellow for a clear foul & Fernandinho gets a 2nd yellow for a foul he didn’t commit.

    The game is corrupt but so is almost everything else in from the top!

  3. Thanks Guys for providing such articles. so much noise around it’s good to see some clarity of thought.
    The problem with trying to avoid a stink is that, at some point in time one has to breath; and at that time the stink is at it’s worst! LOL
    As for the English media with their ridiculous bias, outdated belief that this little island is the incorruptible centre of the world with the exception of one or two they are not worth reading unless you want to amuse yourself.

    come on gunners!

  4. I do agree – I am just amazed that Uefa have suddenly come out and admitted that they can’t cope. And interested (although not too surprised) that the UK media has ignored what is an utterly huge story.

  5. Type 3 (and Type 1,2) match fixing is mostly (all?) about the actions of clubs (or parts thereof) in the interest of the club or the clique within the club involved. In England, we also have the bizarre situation where the FA and the league referee’s association (possibly the league itself) fixing matches for reasons of their own. I suppose that the referee’s association could do things on their own, but since it is the FA that is involved in disciplinary, it makes sense for them to be involved.

    The season is young, and yet again Leicester is steaming up the chart with Jame “I’ll take that Penalty” Vardy leading the scoring list at the moment. Is PGMO/The FA trying to demonstrate once again, that they can provide the title to any arbitrary team. Presumably, the end purpose in this, is for PGMO/The FA to be able to sell that position to the highest bidder in any given season.

    I suppose a person could look at the top scorers for each of the Top-6 and Leicester, and see what is happening WRT fouls by those players, fouls on those players, treatments involving those players and penalties scored by those players.

    For my own reasons, I would prefer that for ordinary purposes saying the 1 goal is scored from open play and 1 goal is scored via a penalty; be actually recorded as 1 goal for scoring from open play and 0.999 goals scored from the penalty spot. What this does, is in the event of a tie; the team with fewer gifts from the penalty spot wins.

  6. Excellent article and I must say that it is also a big surprise to me that UEFA came out in such a clear way.
    Now let us hope that not one of the match fixers itself get to conduct the research….
    Like in the PGMO reviews itself and the refs and their decisions…

  7. My love of Arsenal will never wain.

    My love of football was lost a long time ago.

    Corrupt, bent….nasty !!

    My involvement in football is entirely restricted to watching matches, and even in that respect pretty much restricted to watching Arsenal.

  8. Perhaps you have noticed, but things like commentaries and statistics pages on the Internet change. A good example is UEFA.com commentary of games. When a goal is scored, the comment box is a yellow/orange backgorund with (usually) the name of the scorer. In the next few minutes, this “scoring” box may acquire a description of events leading up to the goal, including a possible assist. But the running commentary continues to push new “comment boxes” onto the stack of comments as the one or two comment boxes peculiar to the scoring continue to be “updated”.

    With some commentaries, notably those which include game statistics, the statistics can be edited days or weeks after the fact. Was it a shot or not? That sort of thing.

    Another things which is worrysome, is that “old” data eventually becomes “lost”. It could be that the disk drive it was on failed, and there are no backups. Or, troublesome reports on games could be purposely deleted.

    If you are interested, and can support the extra work, what you can do is to use a program like wget to download pages of interest; and then store them into a version control archive such as git. These versioning systems are quite efficient at storing data, they mostly store the differences between one version and next/previous.

    Let’s say you are interested in a Europa Cup game. You could download the UEFA.com page every minute, and submit that to git. And then download the page say one hour later (after game has ended). And the sqrt(2) times one hour later (about 1.4 hours), and then 2 times on ehour later, and then 2*sqrt(2) hours later, …. You can see that the time between downloads of what is nominally a finished file is increasing. And perhaps at the end of the season, you switch to only downloading this file once a year (for say 10 years), and then switch to downloading it once a decade after that.

    Modern versioning systems can generate fancy reports on any particular “archive” (each page (or URL) in question, becomes an archive of multiple reports). You can then keep track of when “bad edits” or deletion of pages happens, and information is lost from the original source.

    Sort of at the beginning of Usenet (originally based on uucp, then transitioned to Internet protocols), people at DEC decided to store every message ever received (I think this was DECWRL). And this went on for many years. Archive.org does something similar for important Internet sites. I think Untold Arsenal was getting backed up by Archive.org at one point. Tony would know more about that, since he is personally involved in Untold Arsenal.

  9. OT: Man$ity 3 v 0 AVilla

    9:4 and 8:3 on shots on/off target, 13:7 on corners,11:5 on fouls.

    AVilla only received the one yellow at 30m (first of game). Fernandinho (Man$ity) received the next yellow on 57m and was dismissed for second yellow at 87m. Gundogan (Man$ity) received his own yellow in between.

    1m of extra time in first half.

    4m of extra time in the second half.

    I see no mention of treatments.

  10. OT: Burnley 0 v 4 Chel$ea

    At 61m, the summary is all Chel$ea; 4 goals and 1 yellow. Shots are 4:6 and 2:2 on/off target, 1:6 on fouls and 0:1 on yellows.

    1m of extra time in the first half, no treatments apparently.

    4m of extra time in the second half, with no (apparent) treatments.

    The second half summary is all Burnley, except for Odoi getting a yellow after he came on. Burnley picked up 2 yeloows, then 2 goals and then a final yellow (to the person giving both assists).

  11. Gord – the 2nd yellow to Fernandinho was wrongly given as Fernandinho was being fouled by the player who went down. The referee was fooled into the issuing of a card. Another case of unprofessional conduct not captured by VAR and incidentally not something that can be overruled by anyone.

  12. Thanks Menace.

    Just before going to sleep, I seen some blurb (top of the headlines) that UE is running out of time.

    To me, what is happening is that the medja and AAA are running out of new reasons to bash UE. So, like everything else, just bash Arsenal for this.

  13. So the club in turmoil on and off the field. I don’t see any light shining at the end of the tunnel. Will Emery b sacked come May? Will Freddie be given the interim charge? The off field management has tarnished the club from the core. The football on the field is pathtic. The results are downhill. The core values Wenger left are shaken badly. Arsenal have lost it’s identity.
    I hope the idiot WOBS have learnt their lesson and will be realizing their mistake of forcing Wenger out of the club.

    Can we ask Wenger to rejoin us?

  14. It makes the “respect” and “equal game” sound hollow doesn’t it?

    It is amazing that places like yourselves and other sites that have talked about corruption have been poo pooed regarding their reporting. It is now obvious that football has a real problem and needs to do something about it before fans walk away.

    @Menace we have been discussing for ages that VAR is being used to confirm corrupt practices. Why is anyone surprised that officials still get it “wrong” with Video evidence?

  15. Guys – will be interesting to look into how VAR is actually being used to influence games for the worse…VAR if used correctly is fair but the refs do not even review the footage instead relying on some mystery men in who knows where to make these decisions. who knows who influences these mystery men. so many times decisions go for certain teams like liverpool, city & utd but not other teams

  16. Arsenal’s game against Watford on the 15th of September 2019 just sums up the match fixing in England. Arsenal were two-nil up at half time before “defensive mistakes” gifted Watford two goals. Sokratis deliberately passed the ball to an opponent in his own box, which lead to the opposing team scoring a goal. David Luiz intentionally caused a foul against a Watford player so that Watford could get a penalty and score a goal.

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