“In sport, corruption is normalized…”

An honour and privilege to be interviewed by the superb French journalist Patricia Cerinsek on bribery, corruption and criminality in sports.She asked the fundamental question, "Why are so many athletes corrupting their sports?'Three main reasons:i. They are told to do so by their bosses. Il sistema/the system/cooperativa is alive and well in many sports leagues. To be a 'good professional' is to learn to lose as well as win.ii. They are not paid their salaries. Non-payment of salaries is...

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Stupid vs. Criminal: the Iowa Gambling Scandal

The sad failure at the heart of the Iowa/Iowa State Sports Gambling Scandal It is a sports scandal that reveals much about America. The state of Iowa is an icon.  It is an agricultural place at the center of the country that has a far larger influence than its relatively small population. Iowa is the purported home of honest, decent folk who work hard all day in farms, fields and barns. The men are supposed to wear baseball caps and be good...

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The Mystery Final

There are some games that are far larger than just a sporting competition.  There was that game in 1936 in Berlin when the England team were forced to raise their arms in Nazi salutes. There was that game in Belgrade between Red Star and Manchester United on February 6, 1958.  It was to be the last footballing appearance of the Busby Babes. After the match, many of them flew off into the skies of football immortality in a crash at Munich...

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The Mafia Capo, How to Catch a Killer & Red-Flagging the Leagues

MAFIO CAPO PRESENTATION    "And a lot of these basketball players would go to the same clubs...and we got our eye on one or two of the guys. And I'd say, "Listen, you are a smart guy. I'm your good friend. Let me tell you how you are going to make some money."  Michael Franzese, the former Mafia Capo for the Colombo Crime Family, is the keynote speaker for the second annual Sports Integrity presentation at the University of...

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The NBA Gamble

If you are a sports fan, you are probably slightly obsessed with the Tim Donaghy case. Donaghy was one of the highest ranked referees in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was also a gambling addict. For four years, he worked with illegal gamblers and bookmakers betting on his own games. The betting industry either never caught him or the few that did notice the strange odds movements, like the Gambino-connected bookmakers in New York, bet on his games for their...

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’Sometimes we fixed more games than we could bet’

In an exclusive interview with Play the Game, a former match-fixer tells how effectively criminal syndicates are still manipulating sports results despite all initiatives against it. The whole approach against match-fixing could be wrong, Declan Hill reports.  This was first printed at: https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2019/0584_sometimes-we-fixed-more-games-than-we-could-bet/ ** The knock came late at night. Marko Stanovic – whose name has been changed to help protect him from the mob – was in one of the world’s great match-fixing gangs. A group whose criminal ties stretched deep...

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“You’re Going to Lose, Why Don’t You Lose with Money in Your Pocket?” Five Points About the Tennis Match-Fixing Report

Today, April 25 - the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis Interim Report came out in London. It cost over £15 million pounds  to complete. Five points: 1. Good job. This was independent and it accurately pointed out something that the sport has hated to admit: Tanking - deliberate under performance has long been part of tennis culture. I mean long - as in a decades long cover-up. For players were not only tanking for their own benefit (if you’re injured you...

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Poor, Old Qatar: labour conditions and the compromised fight against match-fixing

The timing could not be better. Just as the sporting world endures another hot-air session a.k.a. an international conference on match-fixing sponsored by the Qatar 2022 World Cup Committee, out comes a new report on labour conditions in Qatar and the building of the World Cup infrastructure and stadiums. The report,  by the external company charged by FIFA to monitor workers' conditions, makes for sobering reading. It seems – no surprise – that despite all the words, all the clichés, all the high-level negotiations...

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How to Fix the European Championship

  This is an article that I hate to write. I hope that fixing does not happen at the upcoming European Championship. I hope that no teams, players or officials are involved in corruption. However, for all the football fans that are concerned for the integrity of the beautiful game here is the blueprint of how match-fixers go about corrupting a big international football tournament. I write this because the only way to find proof of match-fixing is to mount proper investigations....

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King of the Mediocre

On the bright side, he has never actually been convicted of fraud, racketeering or money laundering. He has also never been arrested for corruption. No has ever caught him on hidden camera offering bribes or election gifts. Ummmm... well, thats about it really. The news that Canada's own Victor Montagliani was elected president of CONCACAF, the continental confederation in FIFA representing North, Central America and the Caribbean, is another underwhelming sign of the lack of reform inside FIFA. For international readers here...

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