14
May
10

 

GOING GA GA

IF YOU ARE PROMISED BIG MONEY TO WIN …

AND BIGGER MONEY TO LOSE …

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE? 

 

 

Corruption in sport

 

Pot (kettle) black

A scandal in snooker points to wider worries about match-fixing

May 6th 2010 | From The Economist print edition 

WISE punters bet on simple outcomes of big matches. That is the lesson of the latest corruption scandal to hit international sport. On May 2nd the News of the World, a British Sunday tabloid, published an account of a sting operation in which John Higgins, the world’s top-ranked snooker player, and his agent Patrick Mooney, appeared to agree to accept bribes in return for losing specific frames in future contests. Mr Mooney has resigned from snooker’s governing body. It has suspended Mr Higgins, who denies wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name. 

Corruption in sport, like betting on it, dates back to ancient Greece. But technology and globalisation make it easier for the two to combine. Wealthy punters can place big bets on events involving ill-paid sportsmen in faraway places. Gangsters then find rich pickings in nobbling the participants. In November the European football authority, UEFA, launched a big inquiry involving 200 matches and teams from 11 countries. In February it banned a Bosnian referee for life and suspended two other officials.  

Many blame the betting industry, which offers wagers on not just the outcomes of contests, but also on virtually random events within them, such as the number of yellow cards issued in a football match, or the number of no-balls bowled during an innings in cricket. Such side-bets can allow a crooked player or referee to cash in by pleasing a match-rigger in a way that is all but invisible even to a suspicious outsider. Equally vulnerable are games with no wider significance, such as those played by likely losers in qualifying rounds, or end-of-season league matches. 

Reputable bookmakers in places such as Europe insist that they are the victims of such abuse, not its abetters. Their profits depend on fair play, they point out: dirty work means more profit for the match-riggers and less for them. They blame complacency among the sports authorities for the problem. Investigating corruption properly and publicly implies that it exists, which disillusions fans and deters sponsors. Too often sports administrators prefer to see, hear and think no evil. 

What works best is a combination of tough disciplinary codes and easy ways for sportsmen to notify the authorities if they are approached by match-fixers. That would make cheating a riskier bet.

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1 Response to “”


  1. July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Dear Nini
    thanks for that very honest article on corruption and the apparent hypocrisy of the Chinese businessmen. I am not afraid to say it. It’s sad that this nation has become so polarized by racial atitudes. Since you are a Malay may appeal that there are many under privileged people in this country and and not all of them are Malays. I think that that was the first mistake the government made. I honestly think that we would progress in this nation when we can see everyone as a Malaysian, encourage excellence regardless of race and be open to who leads the country. As long as the rule is that only a Malay can be PM I think we will continue to remain a backward nation. ( not that Malays the are backward but they system is).

    Guy


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