In the age of internet, satellite TV and innovative technology, we can watch almost any match. There are also new opportunities to track, detect and prevent corruption. But new opportunities have also opened up for those involved in match-fixing.
Modern match-fixing is no longer only about players and referees. New actors also appear on the scene of corruption. These are organized criminal groups and betting shops. Criminal groups have an impact on sports disciplines, but corruption in football is of the greatest concern. This is because 50% of the betting is linked to football matches.
How does it work?
The mechanism for the operation of betting corruption is very simple. Along with the legalisation of the ability to bet on matches and sporting events over the internet, the services of bookmakers have become hugely popular. From the comfort of our own homes we can bet not only on the outcome of a match, but also on a number of events that will take place during the match (for example, the number of corners, yellow cards, who will start the match, etc.). This is where the criminal gangs come into play.
Football clubs, players or referees organised by criminal gangs play matches. It is best if a weak team sensationally beats a strong team. Then you can make more money, because the KFs are the most favourable. That way, the people who bet on the unexpected outcome and the bribed players or referees profit financially.
The opportunity to bet on matches is also used by the players themselves, who want to earn their “modest” football salaries. Although the team usually gets a bonus for winning, it is usually easier to lose than to win in a match. In theory, footballers cannot bet money in bookmakers’ bets.
But they have family, friends and acquaintances who can do it for them, and incidentally take something for themselves from the betting cake. Of course, regular customers of betting companies also want to take advantage of such benefits. You can find hidden forums and groups on the internet where bookmakers exchange so-called fixed, saleable matches.
Detecting coincidence and cheating is very difficult. After all, the players are professionals, so they know exactly how to subtly ruin a match. However, this does not mean that corruption scandals are not uncovered. Almost every weekend there are matches that are controversial. Interpol, in cooperation with major football organisations such as FIFA and UEFA, constantly monitors the situation.
Fast, easy and illegal profits, but at any cost?
Major football organisations are calling for a crackdown on match-fixing fraud. Young players are the most vulnerable to threats and at the same time very susceptible to persuasion by criminal gangs. They do not earn much yet, but the prospect of easy profits is great. Some players are capable of deceiving all their teammates and ruining their careers.
The number of match-fixing matches worldwide is 15%. Is that hard to believe? Given the level of club football and the fact that anyone can beat anyone in the league, we have perfect conditions.
In conclusion, the modern match-fixing industry is built in such a way that it is unfortunately difficult to detect and therefore to charge anyone. Big money has always attracted people looking for easy profits.
Football generates such huge profits that there will always be people who want to make illegal financial profits for themselves. The sport will face more and more challenges.