воскресенье, 6 ноября 2016 г.

Soccer Scandal!

Seventeen gamblers were arrested for having a hand in bribing players, officials and coaches. Fifteen of the gamblers arrested were from Germany, while two were from Switzerland. Along with the arrests made, the police seized nearly $1.48 million in cash during 50 raids spanning across Germany, Austria, Britain and Switzerland. It looks like three games from the Champions League were part of this match fixing cartel's targets. Peter Limacher, head of discipline for European soccer's governing body UEFA declared, “Without question, this is the biggest betting scandal in the history of European soccer.” The investigations conducted by the German police point to the fact that the rot of corruption cuts across all levels, much more than officials had initially thought. UEFA, refused to identify the suspects or reveal the games in question since the investigation is still on. Besides three games of the Champions League matches, it seems twelve matches of the Europa League have also come under the scanner. Players from clubs in England, Italy, Spain and France are not being suspected since the huge salaries they draw hardly make them inclined to accepting bribes. So as of now, Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan and Bayern Munich are not believed to be part of the match fixing scandal. Instead, second-tier clubs are the ones involved, with clubs from Germany and Turkey topping the list. The sheer spread of corruption seems to have taken UEFA officials by surprise. But, Friedhelm Althans, Bochum police chief, felt this was ‘just the tip of the iceberg'. In order to fix games, the gambling cartel is said to have used blackmail tactics, apart from the usual exchange of money. It might've bought over some players, referees or coaches who were caught red-handed in situations that could've been potentially embarrassing if word were to get out, so they were blackmailed into throwing away games in exchange for the cartel's silence. Besides this scandal that has rocked the world of European soccer, there is increasing evidence that gambling cartels based in Asia are also involved in match fixing in much lower soccer leagues. Officials suggest that even obscure matches have seen betting to the tune of millions of dollars! This is how some betting groups have evaded the police. By focusing on part-time professional soccer players, instead of those playing in the big league, these gamblers are raking in serious money. If professional, big league soccer players and officials, as well as, small time players and clubs are all part of the match rigging nexus, what's left out? If corruption runs from top and bottom, then how murky has the game of soccer become? Gone are the simple days when players wore their soccer uniforms and gave it all they had, when wearing world cup soccer jerseys meant representing their countries as world ambassadors. How times have changed...

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