Match fixing is a cancer that has affected sports for a long time. Today I take a closer look at how it happens,why it happens and what administrators can do to curb it. I focus on how one Wilson Raj Perumal did it in his own words.
According to Perumal,he targeted players from little known lower leagues of poor countries such as Africa,Asia and Eastern Europe. The matches are low key friendlies or tournaments. It is really not unusual for the matches to be arranged or organised by the match fixers themselves.As what happened with Zimbabwe national team in the late 2000s,the hitman which in most cases is Perumal ,is sent by underground betting syndicates to help influence matches. Perumal then approaches the head of delegation,intros themselves as a businessman offers to take then to dinner or lunch.
Perumal wines and dines the delegate showing them town. This happens for a number of days until Perumal asks the delegate if he would like to make money for themselves and their team. The lure of the easy money is too big to turn down. The delegate accepts ,approaches the coach who then instructs the players to “take it easy so to speak”.
Unbeknownst to most of you there are different kinds of fixes. First one is the referee fix. This one involves the match official giving dubious decisions such as soft penalties,yellow and red cards. This type of fix was said to be used when South Africa beat Guatemala in a friendly ahead of the 2010 World Cup. The next one involves the players especially goalkeeper letting in soft goals such as the match fixing Bruce Grobelaar was accused of in the late nineties. The last one although less prominent is one involving the coaches. Here the manager is influenced to choose a “weaker” team that will hand over a good result to the opponents.
Perumal may be an ex con but he offered valuable insights in the world of match fixing. He said the only way to limit it was to limit online betting to the larger leagues. The banning of friendlies in my opinion was a step also in the right direction. When all I said and done match fixing looks like it’s here to stay.
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