Dead Men Walking

Let it be said here for the first time.  Let this warning go out clearly and strongly across the sporting world. The Italian and Turkish football leagues are dead-men walking. In 2010, when I testified before the Parliamentary Committee of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, I spoke about the ‘cancer of match-fixing that has entered European football leagues’. Now, some of those patients have died. There is no hope for the sport, as it exists in its present form, in these countries. The...

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Why Turkish Football Needs a Saviour

In Trabzon, eastern Turkey this week, to give a presentation about the importance of continuing to fight against corruption in sport.  I am being brought in by a bunch of fans of the local team who are upset about the situation. They may be even more upset very soon.  For my message is very simple: Turkish football is in a severe crisis. It is deeply corrupt.  The only hope for the sport here is to shut down the league for...

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A Sidekick Over the Ship

A quick comment on the arrest of Admir Suljic arrest. This is called throwing the sidekick over the side of the ship. It is a tactic used to distract the media from the real person: Dan Tan. Again, Dan Tan is alleged to be at the centre of the match-fixing ring.  If true, he knows the key establishment people who would be involved in helping their activities. A man like Admir Suljic does not know those people. There is an odd, ironic convergence...

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Ten Years Later

You do not sleep well, the night that someone almost kills you. It had been a perfect day: sunny, blue sky. We, my translator and a driver, had gone from Kirkuk across the northern part of the Sunni triangle to the Tigris River where Saddam Hussein had a palace complex. It was April 2003, a few days after the end of the war. At the time, there was a wonderful holiday feeling drifting across the country. We drove through Hawija, a...

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Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Doha Summit on Sports Security is going on now. Do not believe a syllable of anything that emerges from that meeting.  Trust very few of the people who are speaking there.   What you are witnessing is an extraordinary and costly charade. There is a superb line in the film by John Sayles Eight Men Out about the fixing at the World Series of Baseball in 1919 that explains, in general, what is going on in Doha.   In the...

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Because Erin Brockovich Didn’t Work for a Qatari Anti-Corruption Agency

Right. Lets take a short break from the Dan-Tan-not-being-arrested-saga to get a good laugh at the latest travesty floating about in the sports corruption industry. A Hollywood producer is mooting doing a film about Chris Eaton and his sterling role in cleaning up soccer. Ha, ha, ha! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dearie-me. I thought it could not get any better than the oxymoron of a Qatari-anti-corruption agency. This is a wonderful joke but as a credible project,...

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The Interrogation of Dan Tan

Thanks to my contacts in Singapore’s law enforcement community (CPIB and the Police), I can bring you the following exclusive transcript of last weekend’s interrogation of Dan Tan: Scene:              A cell inside Singapore police headquarters.   Long table.  Two policemen in crisp, white shirts on one side of the table.  Across from them sits the charming (and Dan Tan is many things if not charming) and intelligent Dan Tan.  The atmosphere is tense. Policeman 1:...

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Assisting is Not Arresting

So Dan Tan is now helping authorities with the investigation. A press release from the Singaporean Police announced a few hours ago, “Dan Tan Seet Eng, a Singaporean who has been named in reports so far, is currently assisting Singapore authorities in their investigations.” Fair play.  This is a good start.  Months late.  But fair enough someone in Singapore, after immense international pressure, has stepped up to the mark and started a process that should have been done a long time ago. Here...

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The Red Flags of Malarkey

In life, there are certain phrases that mean the exact opposite to their stated meaning. For example, the term “world-class” usually means that something is parochial, petty and provincial. You do not see signs in Paris or Rome advertising “world-class” projects, but you do in just about every small-town across the globe. “Centre of excellence” (mediocre and deeply unoriginal) is another term, but the best is when someone looks you in the eye and says, “I am...

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A Quick Primer

There is an international match fixer living in Singapore who has, according to numerous different European police agencies helped fix hundreds of football matches around the world. Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for him. The Singaporean government has responded by giving them, FIFA, European police investigators and the international sporting community the finger. They have given the finger in true-Singaporean fashion – lots of flabby excuses and illogical media statements – but basically they have told Interpol/FIFA where it...

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