The Grey Market of Match-Fixing in European Football

Its about the grey market – il sistema - of points buying or match-fixing. This is the unspoken of secret that lurks at the heart of many European football leagues. If you have seen the announcement by the Spanish authorities of their request for a ban and jail some 41 of their top footballers, you may be scratching your head as to the driving mechanism of this alleged match-fixing.  The scandal revolves around a match in late-May 2011 between two...

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Tennis Match-Fixing

Credible and good.  The Buzzfeed investigators - John Templon and Heidi Blake - should be congratulated. Three more facts. One, I was with a major monitor of sports gambling fixes.  They are experts in this world. Their people were estimating approximately one fixed match a week in the the tennis world. Two, I interviewed a player and then two senior investigators who told me that some tennis players make more money fixing games than playing honestly. Three, the secret reports that the story...

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Requiem for a FIFA President & More to Come

See below from last week, when a number of people close to the investigations showed me some of the documentation. The other stories from FIFA sources are, now, legendary. When Blatter heard of the arrests at the five-star hotel in the spring, FIFA-insiders claim he hid for several hours, mobile phone switched off in case someone came for him. Here is the official statement from Swiss Prosecutors: Criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA Bern, 25.09.2015 – The Office of the Attorney...

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Its Going to Get Really Bad

There will be more arrests in the FIFA scandal. I am not speaking of Loretta Lynch’s cheeky announcement this week in Zurich. I am not speaking of Jerome Valcke being relieved of his duties. I spoke this week with a number of key people with close connections with the US FBI investigation. What they have discovered in newly-gathered documents about certain key individuals in the soccer world is shocking. More pertinently, they now the internal documents to bring about these arrests. Stay tuned. It...

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Czech Kudos, Turkey’s Embarrassment and Yet More Dodgy Officials

To start January with good news: well done the Czechs! I have just returned from the Czech Republic and the police there have done something almost unparalleled in the match-fixing world.   They have swooped in and arrested 25 people and busted up an alleged match-fixing ring in the lower divisions of their football league. Well, ho hum. In football that happens just about every week: police come busting in and arrest loads of players, coaches and referees. Ahhh, yes; but this is different! ...

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Canada’s Embarrassment

It was the incompetent meet the tolerant of corruption. If you had the good fortune to miss last weekend’s draw for the Women’s World Cup hosted by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and FIFA, then you missed one of those dreadful ‘Yes sir/no sir’ events beloved by branch managers across Canada when their foreign bosses drop in. The foreign bosses in this case are FIFA: an organization that has become synonymous with corruption as a whole series of its senior executives...

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It Just Got Worse: More on Greek, Turkish Football and Systems of Corruption

After thugs beat up the one of the referee coordinators with iron bars you would not think it could get worse. It just did. Yesterday, the Greek press published articles about a letter signed by UEFA and FIFA that warned the Greek authorities about their stance on corruption in their football leagues. You might think, “Great!  Finally the international football authorities are moving to protect the long list of abused players, beaten-up referees and journalists in Greece.  Finally, FIFA and UEFA are...

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It is All Happening Again: Greek, Turkish Football and Systems of Corruption

To start with the obvious: I like Greece, I like Turkey.  I love many of their peoples and I intensely dislike what I now have to write.  However, it is the truth, so here goes: Greek football is deeply corrupt. Actually, that is an understatement.   What I should say, is that Greek football is so deeply corrupt, the entire sport should be closed down for a year while an independent, well-resourced investigator cleans it up. For those who search for a metaphor...

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Malta, Migrants and Drowning

VALLETTA, MALTA—It is the memories of the dead children that keep Marco Cauchi up at night. “I have recovered hundreds of corpses from the sea. And when you find decomposed children — it is not nice. Then you go home and you see your own children,” said Cauchi. “How different the world seems when you see these things.” Cauchi, a big burly man, has been a sailor in Malta for more than 28 years. He started as a deckhand in a naval...

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Save International Sport – Buy Puma!

There are some blogs that should be repeated every few months. This is one that I posted in 2011, when we going through another FIFA corruption scandal. Now the international sports world is witnessing another; the post is worth reading again: Dear Concerned Football Fan, So you are are upset by the latest corruption scandal coming out of FIFA?    Here is what you need to do. Please do not bother with the carefully-worded petitions to sports officials.  Please do not bother with...

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