Because Erin Brockovich Didn’t Work for a Qatari Anti-Corruption Agency[email protected]
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, it is a complete non-starter.
A little review for people new to the issue. Twenty years ago, Chris Eaton worked as a cop, but now he is largely a bureaucrat. His principal good action in the fight against match-fixing was trying to enact a set of reforms at FIFA. He failed. They threw him out. He is now working for those paragons of anti-corruption, you know the ones that fans around the world look up to, the Qatari soccer governance people.
Here is why trying to make Eaton the principal hero of the anti-match-fixing campaign is a travesty.
There are literally dozens of hard-working, tough street cops who have done the real job of fighting match-fixing. These men and women, in a variety of different countries, have worked their asses off, made the arrests and got the actual convictions.
How then did Eaton become the hero?
Some of it was due to a dreadful article by a sometime-ESPN writer Brett Forrest. There were a number of mistakes in the article, but one of them was naming Wilson Raj Perumal as ‘The World’s Most Prolific Match-Fixer’. If you have seen the recent campaign to get Dan Tan arrested, then you know Perumal is not even the most prolific match-fixer in Singapore, let alone the world.
Why did Forrest get it so wrong?
Because he does not know match-fixing. He is a good fellow. Keen at his job, etc. But not an expert in this field. So he wrote a hagiography of Eaton and missed the true heroes of the fight against fixing.
However, not to worry, this is a film that will not get made. In general, Hollywood producers and studios like complete and accurate stories. Erin Brockovich did not work for a Qatari anti-corruption agency. Donnie Brasco was actually an undercover police investigator. Serpico did take on a corrupt world and clean it up. This is one film that will not attract top actors or directors, once they understand the true and full picture.