Football's Most Infamous Fixed Matches

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJanuary 22, 2013

Football's Most Infamous Fixed Matches

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    UEFA president Michel Platini has highlighted match-fixing as the scourge of football across the world today.

    The former France international told French radio RTL (reported via BBC Sport) that he has been dismayed at the idea of results being known before a match is played.

    There have been numerous examples of clubs, players and officials being caught out fixing the outcome of matches across the years.

    Here we look at the most famous incidents of match fixing in football.

    What do you think? Let us know below.

West Germany vs. Austria, World Cup 1982

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    Algeria had become the undoubted darlings of the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain after their incredible 2-1 win over tournament favorites West Germany ahead of a loss to Austria.

    The North African side beat Chile in their final group match the day before West Germany and Austria met in Gijon.

    Both European nations knew that a 1-0 or 2-0 win would be enough for both countries to qualify for the next stage ahead of the Algerians, as noted by our colleague Guido in 2010.

    And after West German striker Horst Hrubesch opened the scoring in the tenth minute, neither side bothered to go in search of another goal as The Guardian has reported.

    Neither country suffered repercussions after the game, which was not replayed, but FIFA declared that final group matches would be played at the same time after that point.

Argentina vs. Peru, 1978 World Cup Finals

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    Argentina were the host nation for the World Cup Finals in 1978 and appeared to be on their way to the third-place playoff against Italy with Brazil progressing to the final instead.

    The host nation needed to defeat Peru by four clear goals in their final match to usurp their Brazilian counterparts.

    Peru had been one of the teams of the tournament, qualifying with Holland from the group stage ahead of Scotland and conceding just six goals in the tournament.

    Argentina ran out 6-0 winners against Peru in a match which was shrouded in controversy until former Peruvian senator Genaro Ledesma told the Daily Mail that the result was fixed.

    Channel 4 News also reported how the result of the match had been rigged in favor of Argentina, who went on to defeat Holland 3-1 in the final.

Nottingham Forest vs. Anderlecht, 1984

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    Anderlecht were eventually punished 13 years after the event for bribing a referee ahead of a UEFA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest in 1984, as The Independent reported.

    Brian Clough's Forest side were leading 2-0 from the first leg at the City Ground before traveling to Belgium.

    However, former Anderlecht chairman Roger Vanden Stock admitted his father, who owned the Belgian club in 1984, had given Spanish match official Guruceta Muro, who was killed in a car accident three years after the match, a £20,000 bribe.

    Anderlecht won the second leg 3-0 to win through to the final and Forest had a goal disallowed despite television replays proving the strike was legal.

    The Belgian club, however, were beaten by Tottenham in the two-legged final. Anderlecht were banned from European competition by UEFA in 1997 after Vanden Stock's admission of guilt.

Juventus, 2006

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    Juventus were demoted to Serie B and stripped of their championship titles of 2005 and 2006 after a match-fixing scandal.

    Former Juve director Luciano Moggi was sentenced to five years and four months in prison in 2011, reported ESPN, after being found guilty of criminal association aimed at committing sports fraud.

    Fiorentina owners Andrea Della Valle and Diego Della Valle, and Lazio president Claudio Lotito, received 15-month prison sentences and a €25,000 fine each for their part in the scandal, while AC Milan executive Leonardo Meani was given a one-year sentence.

    The scandal was uncovered by police looking into doping in Serie A in a separate investigation, and hearing Moggi trying to arrange match officials for certain matches in a telephone conversation. Further investigation implicated other Serie A clubs.

EPL Floodlight Failures, 1999

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    Strange things were happening at a number of Premier League matches in the late 1990s as floodlights failed during matches at West Ham United and Wimbledon.

    However, when three men were arrested at Charlton Athletic ahead of their game against Liverpool in February 1999, light was shed on what was really happening, as The Guardian reported at the time.

    Frank Lampard had just equalized for West Ham in their match against Crystal Palace when the lights went out, while floodlight failure caused Wimbledon's match with Arsenal at Selhurst Park to be abandoned reported The Independent.

    BBC News reported that three men, who were part of a Malaysian betting scam, were caught with a circuit-breaker at The Valley. A Charlton security guard was also arrested as part of the group.