NY Times: Fixed Soccer Matches Cast Shadow Over World Cup
Fixers are attracted to soccer because of the action it generates on the vast and largely unregulated Asian betting markets. And if executed well, a fixed soccer match can be hard to detect. Players can deliberately miss shots; referees can eject players or award penalty kicks; team officials can outright tell players to lose a match.
Sports on Earth: There is a History of Match Fixing at the World Cup
In February 2012, FIFPro, the worldwide union of professional soccer players, released the results of a survey of thousands of its members from Eastern and Southern Europe. The numbers were shocking, as almost a quarter of the players (23.6 percent) admitted to being aware of match fixing in their respective leagues. Nearly 45 percent of respondents in Russia (home to the 2018 World Cup) answered similarly. Even worse, approximately 12 percent of players admitted to being approached to fix a match.
The root cause for much of this corruption is the non-payment of players. Few soccer fans realize that athletes don't necessarily get paid to play in the World Cup. FIFA hands the money that's intended to go to the athletes to the executives of each national team. This cash is then to be transferred to the players. Of course, given the state of corruption within FIFA, what is supposed to happen often differs greatly from what does happen, nationalism be damned.
AP: FIFA Drops Saudi Referee From World Cup After Fixing Ban
FIFA has dropped referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from the World Cup after he was banned from football for life in Saudi Arabia over match fixing.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said two weeks ago that Fahad Al Mirdasi asked for money to help a team win a cup final.
Naive to think the trustworthy group know as FIFA is catching and punishing everyone. Also naive to think only one referee from a place with no morals would be willing to do such a thing for financial gain. Plenty of other refs from plenty of other places that could use a couple hundred grand and have no moral high ground to do the right thing. If 23.6% of players "admit" to knowing match fixing exists, and 12% "admit" to being approached to fix a match, the real number of players in on the take is likely much higher.
Why isn't the US, Italy in the tournament? Have to ask them. Did someone throw their qualifiers? Shady refs in other games created the perfect storm where US was like 95% to make it but ended up out? The odds on the US missing the tournament that night might have paid off huge.
If it's about TV ratings, the US is a melting pot. People living in America represent every country in the tournament. People in this country will always watch. But do you think anyone in Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, give a damn about seeing Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan (or whoever is on the team these days?) Globally, the World Cup ratings aren't likely to be down with the US not making it. Globally, people want to see Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, the defending champs, maybe the host country. Not, I don't know...Sweden? Costa Rica?
In the link Chris posted it mentions there were 68 extra time goals (2nd half) in the EPL. 380 games. So roughly 17.9% of games are going to have one. In this tournament there has been 12 goals after the 90 minute mark in 29 games. Or roughly 41.4% of the games. Small sample size? Maybe. There has also been 7 of em in the last 6 games. Commentators have mentioned the absurd amount of penalty kicks that have been awarded. Although they missed a bad one today that Sweden needed and should have gotten.
A ton of extra time goals? A ton of penalty kicks? Pretty much all of them benefiting the favorite. Am I the only one who smells something rotten here?
Look. End of the day, I got a handful of friends who love soccer, EPL, MLS, anything. I tried to get into the world cup for once. But I just can't. What I see from some of these games, from the best talent in the world, looks down right like a fix is in at times. Penalty kick goes flying 20 feet over the goal. Top notch players swing and miss right in front of the net. On the other hand teams playing super conservative all of sudden become a sieve with 5 minutes to play. Own goals 6 minutes into extra time. Think about it. There is a ton of money bet on this high profile event. Draws pay out more than the favorite winning does. 99 draws in 380 EPL games last season. 26% of the games end in a draw. World Cup has seen 4 in 29 games. 13.8%. And half these teams "want to draw", right?
Something isn't adding up.
I won't hijack your thread anymore. Enjoy the games.