World Football: 5 Most Famous Examples of Match Fixing

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIApril 20, 2012

World Football: 5 Most Famous Examples of Match Fixing

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    Match fixing brings disrepute to any sport and any team that is involved in it.

    The actions of a few are suffered by many, with football having more than its fair share of controversies.

    Match fixing has probably existed since the sport began, but only occasionally is the truth uncovered and the culprits disciplined accordingly.

    Here are the five most famous examples of match fixing that have rocked football.

Choi-Sung Kuk

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    In the most recent scandal, South Korean footballer Choi-Sung Kuk was found guilty of match fixing in the South Korean K-League and has been banned from football for life by FIFA.

    Choi also received a 10-month prison sentence—suspended for two years—for an offence of manipulating game results in two matches in 2010.

    Dozens of footballers in the K-League were indicted last year following the revelation of match fixing and Choi is the latest casualty.

Italian Football

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    Juventus were involved in an Italian match fixing scandal back in 2006 that saw them demoted to Serie B and stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A league titles.

    Former Juventus director Luciano Moggi was sentenced to five years and four months in prison whilst Fiorentina owners Andrea Della Valle and Diego Della Valle received 15-month prison sentences and a €25,000 fine each.

    Lazio president Claudio Lotito also suffered a 15-month sentence with €25,000 fine whilst AC Milan executive Leonardo Meani was given a one-year sentence.

    16 persons were found guilty in all, and it has taken Italian football a long time to recover.

    Moggi's offence was being found guilty of criminal association aimed at committing sports fraud.

Bruce Grobbelaar

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    Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar fought hard to clear his name after he was accused of match fixing back in 1994.

    The Sun newspaper had accused Grobelaar of taking bungs in the region of £40,000 to concede goals against Newcastle United.

    Grobbelaar was initially acquitted, but the decision was overturned two years later after a high court ruling had declared that:

    While it had been proved that Grobbelaar had accepted
    bribes, it had not been shown that he had let in goals to fix results. It was
    for this reason that the original jury had found in his favour.

    Lord Bingham responded that

    He had in fact acted in a way in which no decent or honest footballer would
    act, and in a way which could, if not exposed and stamped on, undermine the
    integrity of a game which earns the loyalty and support of millions.

    It would be an affront to justice if a court of law were to award
    substantial damages to a man shown to have acted in such flagrant breach of his
    legal and moral obligations.

    Grobbelaar was ultimately found innocent.


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    French football hasn't been without its controversy either, as Marseille were found guilty of match fixing in the early 1990s.

    Marseille won four league titles between 1989 and 1992 under the guidance of Bernard Tapie, as well as a UEFA Champions League trophy to boot.

    The foundations of a great Marseille side came crumbling down in 1993 when it emerged that Tapie was involved in match fixing.

    Marseille were stripped of their league title, banned from entering the Champions League and banned from entering the Intercontinental Cup.

    Tapie received two years in prison whilst Marseille suffered financial problems and were demoted to Ligue 2.

    Marseille were managed by Raymond Goethals at the time.

Standard Liege

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    In 1982, Belgian Side Standard Liege were fined £75,000 after their manager suggested to the players that they offer their match bonuses to their opposition on the final day of the season in order to ensure a victory and subsequent league title.

    The manager? Raymond Goethals.

    Goethals was banned from managing in Belgium for life along with 13 of the Standard Liege players.

    Liege were allowed to keep their Belgian title and Goethals found a job at Marseille some years later, as described in the previous slide.

    There is no excuse for match fixing, no matter what pressures you are under to win.

    Football has a hard enough time trying to maintain its reputation from organised fan fighting without having to deal with betting scams and bungs.

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    Thanks for reading.