The global soccer match-fixing scandal has spilled over into America, as a United States men's national team match is suspected of possibly being tampered with.
Bob Ley of ESPN's Outside the Lines reported the following on Friday, according to Grantland's Brian Phillips:
Bob Ley reporting that matches have been tampered with in the United States, including a USMNT game.— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) February 8, 2013
Philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald helped clear things up:
To be clear: There is NO accusation that the USMNT was involved in the act of match-fixing.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 8, 2013
Only that there was an attempt to fix a game in which the USMNT was involved. The opponent was approached by the fixers.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 8, 2013
From Tannenwald's report, it seems that the USMNT is not thought to be involved in any of the corruption, but rather a potential victim of the global match-fixing scandal, which has emerged as a severe problem in world football today.
This from Tannenwald on Friday:
Ley did not initially specify which U.S. game was in question. He later stated that it was a February 24, 2010 friendly game between the United States and El Salvador played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. That game ended as a 2-1 win for the United States, with Sacha Kljestan scoring the winning goal in the 92nd minute.
While the sport continues to thrive around the world, the ongoing match-fixing scandal is certainly capable of bringing the sport to its knees soon if nothing is done.
ESPN's Brett Forrest reported on Friday that a recent Europol investigation found that roughly 700 soccer matches had been fixed.
Forrest goes on to discuss his discoveries about match-fixing:
The most accomplished match-fixers in the world are from Singapore. It was there that I learned how simple it is to fix a game, how boldly and imaginatively these fixers operate on every continent, and how wildly a fixer and his backers can profit in the massive business of Internet sports betting.
Clearly, with the development of technology, online gambling and betting sites, fixing soccer matches has become an easier and more profitable crime.
This issue is no longer avoidable. It's sure to serve as a powerful wake-up call to world football's leaders and top officials, who now must fix the problem and eventually regain the confidence of the fans and public.
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