Betting On Fixed Matches - How Can You Be Guaranteed A Fair Bet?
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Football is never too far away from controversy, and while there have been plenty of discussions over diving and exorbitant player fees, it’s allegations of fixed matches for betting that continue to haunt the beautiful game.
While the vast majority of football games are played perfectly fairly without any outside influence, over the past few decades we have seen numerous examples of fixed matches in football. And with online betting proving to be evermore popular, it seems as though this troubling issue is not going to go away.
In our guide, we will help you spot and avoid any fixed matches, and we’ll also try and explain why some punters will actively seek odds on fixed matches. And with a few examples of fixed matches in football included too, we will hopefully be able to provide the information you need to make informed choices in the future. So if you have been wondering “Is there any thing like fixed matches in betting world?” in relation to betting, the answer is yes — but you can still enjoy a safe, secure betting experience despite this. Read on to find out more.
Do Fixed Matches Exist?
As all sports from the likes of football and tennis, to horse racing and boxing can be wagered on, it’s no real surprise to find that some people have tried to influence the run of play so that they can get a winning result.
While most of us are happy to do our own betting research to help make a potential profit, there have been numerous examples of more disreputable sports fans attempting all manner of dodgy methods in order to try and score a betting win.
From the bribery of referees to the paying off of an entire football team, it seems that there’s no limit to what kinds of criminal activities these people will try. And with the Kenyan referee, Aden Marwa, getting booted out of the 2018 World Cup as a result of accepting a bribe last June, it seems that this problem is unfortunately still with us.
Why Is Betting On Fixed Matches Such A Big Issue?
As the gambling industry in 2017 was worth £14 billion in the UK alone, it’s clear that many people love to place a bet on anything from football to cricket. But what’s the point of putting down a sports bet if the end result is anything but fair? Not only does this spoil all concept of sportsmanship, but it also means that your betting stake runs the risk of being invalidated thanks to the criminal activities of others.
With online betting sites making it simple for anybody to place a sports bet anywhere from the English Premier League to obscure leagues overseas, it’s become much more difficult for regulatory bodies to judge what counts as a fair match.
In fact, there has even been the rise of ‘ghost games’, where football matches have been set up, and bookies offer bets on the games, without such a match even taking place. We’ve seen such ghost matches taking place as far-afield as the game between the Belarus teams FC Slutsk and Shakhtyor Soligorsk, and Portugal’s Freamunde and Spain’s Ponferradina. While such ghost matches would be easy to police in the UK, it’s not so easy to check when the action is taking place thousands of miles away.
Troubling Examples Of Fixed Matches In Football
What’s remarkable is the fact that match fixing can take place at all levels of the game. From matches between some of the world’s most famous clubs, to games between relatively unknown sides, it seems that match fixing has long blighted the modern game. Here are a few examples that show what the regulatory authorities are up against.
Italy’s Serie A embarrassment in 2006
The Italian football league, Serie A, is quite rightly one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. Despite this, the league has never quite got over the match fixing scandal of 2006. The scandal focused on the investigations of Italian police, who discovered that the managers of the Italian club, Juventus, had been in close contact with officials of Italian football in a bid to get them to select referees who would give Juventus favourable match decisions.
The Calciopoli scandal soon spread to affect other legendary Italian clubs like AC Milan, Fiorentina, Reggina and Lazio, and it wasn’t long before the whole league was brought into disrepute. As a result, many of the implicated clubs were relegated to Italy’s Serie B league with some tough points deductions, and numerous individuals were banned from the game — some even served some jail time. While these punishments aimed to solve the match-fixing issue, it’s clear that Italian football still bears the scars of the Calciopoli scandal.
Marseille’s 1993 shame
French football is also no stranger to the troubling issue of match-fixing, and nowhere was this more evident that in Marseille in 1993. Marseille had been one of France’s most prestigious clubs, and with four successive French Division 1 championship titles under their belts, they looked good for completing another successful season in 1992/93.
It seemed to be business as usual as Marseille beat Valenciennes 1-0 to secure the league title and then triumphed over AC Milan in the 1993 UEFA Champions League final. However, it was later alleged that Marseille had bribed Valenciennes to lose their match so that Marseille could be less tested prior to their Champions League final match. As a result, many of Marseille’s governing body were given prison sentences, the side were stripped of their league title, and they were banned from the following year’s cup competitions.
Bahrain versus Togo in 2010
Even international matches have the potential to be exploited by match-fixers; take the 2010 friendly game between Togo and Bahrain. Bahrain comfortably won the match 3-0, with the team’s head coach being surprised by the lack of quality in the Togo team.
It was only later discovered that Togo had reportedly fielded a fake team, and Togo’s officials stated that they didn’t send its national team to play against Bahrain. With allegations that the match had been set up by a fake football agent and a complete mystery about how such a game could take place, it shows that even international football can fall into very unscrupulous hands.
The drugged game between Cremonese and Paganese in 2010
While Italian football was still recovering from the Calciopoli scandal, a bizarre match between the third division sides Cremonese and Paganese showed that match fixers will try even the most unlikely methods to influence the outcome of a match. While Cremonese were comfortably beating Paganese 2-0, in the second half many of Cremonese’s players suddenly become ill, with two ending up in hospital and one crashing his car on the way home.
It was later revealed that the Cremonese players had been drugged with sleeping medication, and worse still, the club’s goalkeeper, Marco Paoloni, who had spiked his teammates’ drinks to hamper their performance. Once again, the fixed match sent shockwaves around Italian football, and even one of Italy’s best-loved stars, Giuseppe Signori, was implicated in this shocking affair.
Goalscoring excess in Nigeria in 2013
Some match-fixing scandals are extremely dangerous, while others are just plain daft. Take the two Nigerian play-off matches in 2013 that saw Police Machine FC beating Bubayaro FC 67-0, while Plateau United Feeders went even further and beat Akurba FC an astonishing 79-0.
Although both of these scorelines would have be warmly welcomed by fans of both winning teams, they did point to the bare fact that something highly irregular was going on. As a result, all four teams involved in the games got banned from playing for ten years, and the two referees involved were issued with life bans. Thankfully, it looks like Nigerian football has managed to make amends to salvage its reputation recently, and you only have to look at the efforts of the team in the 2018 World Cup to see that even the most dodgy match-fixing scandals can be overcome.
Is the Premier League at risk with fixed matches for betting?
It might be comforting to think that most of the most famous match fixing scandals tend to take place abroad — does this mean that the UK is exempt from such troubling match fixing issues? Unfortunately, it looks like even the Premier League can be affected by match fixing, as a report in 2013 stated that at least one game in the league had been rigged.
For legal reasons, the details of the allegedly rigged matches haven’t been disclosed. But it seems that big swings in betting odds, along with dubious performances of certain players, hinted at the potential for match fixing. It was suggested that a match fixer could have been employed by a Singapore businessman who had already been imprisoned for his bribing of players in the Finnish football league. This event shows that while our Premier League stars are getting paid phenomenal amounts of money, they will still receive occasional offers to alter the result of the game through unsporting behaviour.
Why Would People Try Betting On Fixed Matches?
The fact that match fixing exists at all shows that some people may have some very unusual ideas about what sport should be about. While most of us love to watch the world’s best athletes try their hardest to put in their best performances while abiding the rules, it seems that some people just want to make money at any cost.
Such criminal activity is obviously despicable, and we are glad to see that all persons involved in match-fixing tend to be suitably punished. Despite this, it seems that there are still many individuals who would rather find fixed matches for betting, rather than using their own skill and research to get a winning result.
How Can You Avoid Fixed Matches In Football?
If match fixing scandals can seemingly affect any game taking place anywhere in the world, how can you be sure that you are betting on a football match that’s completely fair? While you can never be completely certain that any match isn’t fixed, by following some of these basic guidelines, you should stand a better chance of enjoying safe and fair betting.
Use your intuition
Regardless of whether you are looking at the latest football betting odds, or are examining a bookie’s welcome bonus offer, you should always use your intuition and ask yourself whether everything looks as it should do. If any football betting odds look too good to be true, they often are, so be sure to use a degree of caution. Most instances of football match fixing have been uncovered after investigations reveal sudden shifts in betting patterns, so be on your guard for any betting odds that seem like they could be bogus.
Only bet on licensed betting sites
We all know how there are plenty of dodgy betting sites out there, but if you stick with our shortlist of approved bookmakers, then you stand to enjoy a much safer and fairer way to bet on football. By only signing up to bookmakers who have a water-tight UK Gambling Commission license, you will know that you are getting plenty of customer protection, and that you are aiding bookies who are focused on ensuring a much safer and transparent sports betting experience for all.
Stick with familiar football leagues
While it might be tempting to put a bet on a football match in far and distant lands, we would recommend that you keep your betting restricted to the leagues where you can actually check what’s going on. Not only will this help you avoid accidentally betting on a ‘ghost match’, but all major football matches will be closely monitored by governing bodies, who should be much quicker to notice any alarming changes in any top footballer’s performance.