Skip to main content

players shouldn't cop all the blame for match-fixing

Great article here from AFP demonstrating just how easy it is for a footballer to fall into the trap of a match-fixer. When employers do what they say in the contract - i.e. pay their players on time each month, then they should have nothing to fear. But when clubs are purchased as an ego-scratch for a wealthy owner, often someone with short-term success rather than decades of wealth, then the guarantee of caring for the players doesn't add up to much.

For all the Lampards, Gerrards and Van Persies out there on their megabucks, there are thousands of professional sportsmen just trying to squeeze out a decent living and provide for their families. Screw them over by not paying them on time and some might be tempted into alternative ways to pay their bills.

Football authorities looking to crack down on players who get caught up in match-fixing ought to be strengthening the financial regulations around owning a club. UEFA are attempting it at the top end re playing in the Champions League, how about at a much lower level where bad financial management opens the door to corruption?

Match fixing: Croatian footballer Mario Cizmek 'destroyed 20 years of hard work in just one month' after accepting money to fix games

Mario Cizmek thought it would just be one match. Ease up and let the other team win, he told himself, collect the pay-off and start paying off debts.

But the broke and desperate footballer soon learnt that one match would not do it. He would have to throw another game, then another, then another.

And so it went until, in what he described as his "worst moment", he was arrested at his home in front of his two daughters on charges of match fixing and hauled off to jail.

"Twenty years of hard work I destroyed in just one month," he said.

The Croatian midfielder was the perfect target for fixers: he was nearing the end of his career, his financially unstable club had not paid him a regular salary for 14 months, and he owed money on back taxes and his pension.

Cizmek's story is typical of how the world's most popular sport is increasingly becoming a dirty game - sullied by criminal gangs like the one that bribed Cizmek, and by corrupt officials or others cashing in on the billion dollar web of fixing matches.

Read the full article

Scary stuff which should be a warning for players and authorities alike. But, as per usual, I'll be amazed if authorities try to do anything about it other than keep pointing the finger at players....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…

hope for investors in the Centaur scandal?

In a breaking story, it has been reported that directors of the failed sports investment fund Centaur have had their assets frozen in order to repay investors. It is believed that managing director Keith Sobey skipped town trying to avoid prosecution however he either naively thought Ireland was a safe enough place to hide or had a lingering feeling of guilt and sat waiting for that knock on the door.

Sobey, the name behind Centaur (read the original story here), is believed to own four houses, worth more in total than the missing £1.6m. His willingness to sell them to repay investors is likely to keep the matter out of the courts, and at least one other director, Andrew Cork, will apparently follow suit.

All this adds weight to anecdotal evidence that the collapse of the fund came down to mismanagement rather than fraudulent deeds. As costs grew (why would you set up a training academy in central London?), margins evaporated and keeping the business afloat went through money like a…