How Football Matches Are Fixed

There is plenty of money in football these days. Source: Pixabay According to the BBC, the main way that problems of match fixing are discovered comes about when large-scale betting occurs, often at short notice on a potentially unlikely outcome of a game. When the market for gambling on a particular fixture goes up unexpectedly, it is often a sign that there is something not quite right going on. Some games that match fixers have attempted to fiddle the result of have seen around 30 times the amount of betting activity than you would normally expect of such a tie. This is certainly the sort of activity that would result in an investigation at a casino or a betting site. As such, you would think that match fixing would be relatively easy to sort out. The trouble is that it is one thing to know that the betting market is being rigged, but quite another to establish who has been got to in order to manipulate the result. How do the match fixers go about their secretive – and illegal – business?

The Targeting of Key Players

Firstly, it is the key players in a team who are focussed on by match fixers. It is of little use to a consortium of betting market riggers to encourage a striker to score more goals in order to ensure one team wins. He or she is likely to have enough of an incentive to do that already. Instead, a match fixer is more likely to hone in on a side's captain, especially an influential one that the younger members of the team look up to. If the captain shows little effort in tracking back or passing accurately, for example, then this can place the team under more pressure than would usually be warranted, augmenting the chances of a loss. If the junior members of the team follow suit with a lack of eagerness in defence, something that often happens, then the likelihood of a loss goes up even more. However, it is more likely that a match fixer will try to get a goalkeeper or a central defender to do their dirty work for them. Such players are obviously pivotal in a defensive effort. Skilled defenders can make an own goal look like a valid attempt to clear the ball, after all. In the same way, goalkeepers could be encouraged to let a potential save slip through their fingers. Goalkeepers can also make a deliberate act of sabotage look like an error, such as bringing down an attacker in the box or 'accidentally' handling the ball outside of the penalty area. Deliberately fouling a player in the penalty area could alter the result of a game. Source: Pixabay

Gaining Access to Players

Once a match fixer has worked out who he or she might want to target to alter the result of a game, it is usual to recruit an intermediary. This might be a former player or someone who is in the squad but not playing regularly. A player who is in his final season would be a typical example of the sort of person a match fixer might recruit to act on their behalf. Anyone who has access to the dressing room but little interest in the results of the team would fit the bill. Match fixers are always on the lookout for likely candidates for this role, such as senior players who have a grudge - a contractual dispute, for example.

Bribing Players

Most match fixers operate in cash only so that their payments to bribed players cannot be tracked electronically. It is common for an initial payment to be made to the player concerned and then for him or her to later receive notification of which game they will attempt to alter the result of. Only after this has been completed does the match fixer hand over the remainder of the bribe.

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