Europol Press Conference on Match-Fixing
First, the good news. This is good news! Forget the ‘black day for European Football’ comments. Fixing and corruption has been going on in football for a long time. Long before ‘The Fix’ revealed the existence of this network, these fixers have been working throughout the sport to destroy its credibility. Finally, there are serious, good police investigators taking a long, hard and critical look at the dark centre of the sport.
Second, what is surprising is not specific matches, but the sheer scale of the number of matches fixed. Forget the stuff about Champions League or games in the UK. The important point was that Europol estimates that 150 international matches in Asia, Africa and Latin America were fixed in two years. Note – these are not club matches, but games between national teams. 150 of these types of matches in two years is a fair proportion of the total number of all international matches of this type. If I were a football fan in any of those continents I would be furious with my national football authorities for allowing such a high-level of corruption to exist. I would also be asking which football officials knew what and when – to pretend that someone inside the football world did not know about this level of corruption is unbelievable.
Three, the absolutely important point is that we know what is going on and who is responsible. Asian criminals have been traveling all over the world fixing sports in our countries. These are not ‘mysterious’, ‘unknown’ people. The alleged ringleaders are very well-known. If you have read my last blogs you know that the Singaporean government has refused to arrest one of the alleged chiefs of the fixers. It is time to consider banning Singapore from international football until they honour an Interpol arrest warrant and arrest one of their own.