The Reality Behind Football Match-Fixing

Football Match-Fixing

Match-fixing in football refers to the manipulation of the result of a match, on behalf of gamblers or team officials. It goes without saying that this is one of the most unsavory practices in sport and one of the most controversial issues facing football today. However, it seems like many people believe that match-fixing only applies to lower-tier leagues, whereas the Premier League is somehow immune to this problem.

1) Introduction

The fans can be some of football’s most passionate and fervent supporters. Whether they love or hate a team, team loyalty is paramount to many around the world. With such devotion to their favorite teams, it makes sense that many of these same fans would not want to believe that their favorite players could purposefully lose a game. Unfortunately, reality shows that it happens more often than we think; football match-fixing is not uncommon and has been on record for decades. Here we will take a look at match-fixing and how it has affected (and still affects) leagues across several continents; we will also discuss some cases where match-fixing directly affected an outcome of an event – particularly those sports outside of Europe – so you can see just how widespread corruption truly is.

2) What is match-fixing?

The fixing of sporting events is an industry that has been around for a long time. In fact, it was a major problem as far back as 1951, when eight players from London's Arsenal football club were accused of taking bribes to lose matches. Today, however, gambling in sports is much more prolific and accepted, which allows sports matches to be more easily fixed without suspicion being aroused. In recent years match-fixing has become so pervasive in some parts of Asia that people have started organizing online betting syndicates as a way to fix multiple matches at once.

3) Why do people take part in it?

There are two main reasons why players may consider match-fixing. Firstly, many players are too young to see past money and secondly, some older players who may be nearing retirement do not want to face financial struggles. Instead of risking long-term injury or an early end to their careers, they choose match-fixing as a risk-free way of securing a nest egg after they retire. There is also some evidence that suggests some players participate in match-fixing as a political move against coaches or simply as revenge for being dropped from a team.

4) The culture of fixing matches

Fixing a match is about more than just influencing a single outcome. Fixers create a system where everyone gets a cut, which attracts players from all levels to get involved. For example, players have been known to fix games for others in return for getting paid without playing themselves or receiving preferential treatment when they do play. Another reason why so many people can get involved is that fixing games can be done relatively discreetly, particularly if fixed matches are few and far between. In fact, it’s sometimes possible to fix several matches at once without anyone realizing anything is amiss. This means that even if match-fixers are identified and arrested after one fixed game, there’s a good chance other events will go ahead as planned with other corrupt players taking their place.

5) How widespread is this?

Football match-fixing is a problem that plagues a lot of different leagues, in a lot of different countries. In 2014, Europol identified 680 suspicious matches from around Europe and 10 percent of those were from Turkey alone. Also in 2014, Turkish league club Bursaspor was banned from competition after one of their players was caught trying to fix a match. In 2011, British newspaper The Guardian reported that three members of European football's governing body UEFA had been banned for life for accepting bribes related to two Champions League qualifying matches in 2006 and 2008. Recently an Icelandic player has been banned by FIFA because he was convicted for fixing a match in 2009 while playing in Denmark. So it would seem that these instances aren't just isolated incidents but instead more widespread than many think they are.

6) How are matches fixed?

The process of match-fixing in football is very simple. There are match-fixers who offer teams money to influence their game. And when clubs don’t do it, they even fix matches by themselves without being offered any money. This can be simply explained by looking at a few cases from around Europe: In England, it started with a small team Middlesbrough FC which was suspected of having worked with betting syndicates and had also signed a player who was banned from all sporting events for life for working with criminals to fix games. Then came Everton FC, then later West Ham United FC was found guilty of attempting to influence their own games.


The world of football match-fixing is not only a dark and depressing one, but it’s also one that we can probably never fully penetrate. After all, even in a time when there is more information and social media at our fingertips than ever before, people will always take advantage of others for their own personal gain. The only thing we can really do to combat such action is to better ourselves as individuals and be aware of what goes on around us. Although we could continue to discuss the realities of match-fixing or talk about corruption in other sectors such as politics or business, we won’t because we think you know enough already. We hope you found today’s post informative and interesting; thank you for reading!



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