Infamous Match Fixing Scandals
Football is a beautiful game, but it, unfortunately, has an ugly side. Perhaps one of the most disheartening, but at times inevitable aspects of the sport would be the scandals. It can be incredibly saddening to find out that some of your favorite teams, as well as the higher-ups embroiled in some sort of vapid money-making scheme. Arguably, one of the more upsetting of them all is match fixing. Hundreds of games have been thrown away, millions of fans have been disappointed, all for the benefit of a small group of people. Here is a list of some of the biggest instances of match fixing in recent football history.
2009 European football betting scandal
Often, and very aptly referred to as one of the biggest match fixing scandals to ever hit Europe. It involved at least nine different countries and was found that over two hundred games were implicated, which included international competitions like the Champions League, as well as the Europa League. Local competitions were not spared, the Austrian Football Bundesliga, as well as Switzerland’s Challenge League, had also been tampered with. Authorities claimed that it involved a number of people, about two hundred.
Out of this, over 30 of those involved were actual football players. It was found that several players, as well as higher-ups, had been paid large amounts of money to ensure that the matches went a certain way. After suspicion grew, phones were wiretapped, and raids were conducted once suspicions were conferment. It resulted in the arrest of numerous officials, as well as the seizure of all their funds.
Gallipoli Calciopoli, one of the most infamous match fixing scandals in Italian Football, even the world may be, is full of shocking twist and turns that would leave anyone with a bad taste in their mouth. It involved some of the best Italian clubs, including Juventus, AC Milan, and Lazio and Florentina. These clubs were already being investigated, due to doping allegations. It was around this time that the top officials of Serie A had their phone tapped by the police. But instead of any information that would confirm their doping suspicions, it was found that conversations were taking place betting the aforementioned officials and referee designators.
Luciano Moggi, Juventus’s sports director probably had the biggest part to play in the scandal. He would make sure that he would choose referees that would favor Juve. A similar system was used by Milan. These set-ups were used by other teams as well so that things would almost always be ruled in their favor. All the clubs involved were punished. Points were deducted, some were fined. Out of all of them, Italian giants Juventus was met with the harshest. Apart from the penalties, the other clubs had to face, the Old Lady by far had to face the worst. They were stripped of there last title, and, for the first time ever, Juve was relegated to Serie B. They quickly recovered, of course, winning the entire thing and getting promoted back to Seria A, but Calciopoli will always be a black smudge on the history of Italian football.