The Ugly Side of Sports
It seems that every sport at one point has fallen victim to a scandal, whether it be relevant to a specific player, team, referee, or an entire league, no sport is immune. The amount of betting in the sporting industry invites such scandals and hopefully many are caught before they make any lasting effects on the sport. Over the past few weeks many of us have witnessed the ongoing scandal of fixed soccer matches and wondered will it ever stop. In total it is estimated that 680 games have been deemed as suspicious, 150 of these games have been deemed from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and 380 have been claimed to be played in Europe. All are a mix of World Cup qualifiers and European Championship qualifiers and a few have been claimed to be Champions league games. It can be stated that European soccer will never be the same after this recent investigation.
The 19 month investigation has discovered to date 11 million dollars in profit and 3 million in bribes. In total 50 people have been arrested and another 425 are under investigation. It is safe to say that more people will be arrested before we hear the end of this scandal. What can fans do to move past this painful scandal and get back to the beauty of the most popular sport in the world? With sports betting so prevalent on the web and in the public is there a way to stop this type of activity?
Online Sports Betting on the Rise
Online sports betting websites in many countries is already a legal and normal activity. Many sites allow people to bet on practically any sporting event. Other online gaming such as online poker in the US took a major hit in the past two years when US players lost Fulltilt Poker and PokerStars. These major online outlets however are on the rise and it’s safe to say some US states will very soon allow these sites to run legally in the country. How long until other online gaming is legal? In the UK online gamers can already use online sports betting, online poker, and other more trending online bingo websites. Is it possible to stop scandals in soccer and at the same time control a multi-million dollars industry?
The major players in the recent soccer fixing scandal have been said to be from across 15 different countries with a major influence coming from an organized crime syndicate in Asia. It has been rumored that the most influential person in the match fixing was Dan Tan but to date he has not been arrested.
Back to the Game
In the end with so much betting online and offline for the sport it will be impossible to prevent these types of scandals from happening. What can be done to prevent such wide spread activity could be more video review of games and decisions from FIFA officials reversing controversial calls. While this may go against beliefs of traditionalists of the sports, it may also be a necessary evil to prevent bribes and game throwing in this lucrative sport.