Match fixing is a game in which the result of an encounter is predetermined in advance, based on the collusion of rivals of a sporting event or persons involved in the competition (coaches, referees, etc.).
Often the outcome of a rigged match may be predetermined by the exact score or the victory of one of the opponents.
The reasons for such games are two main factors:
- Financial gain. As a result of collusion with bookmakers, bribery (of referees, coaches, athletes or team management) by an opponent or a third party who benefits from the defeat of a particular contestant.
- Tournament Bribery. In sports disciplines (football, basketball, volleyball) where matches are played in a round-robin system, it is often advantageous for teams to end up with a rigged score.
Signs of Match Fixing
To prove that the match is fixed, it is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible because often there is no direct evidence, you can only rely on circumstantial signs. For example:
- Sluggish play and loss of the team, the early champion, to a weak opponent, who tries only to stay in the league, so that the next season is not in the minor divisions.
- The result of the match was a non-standard hockey score, such as 5:3.
- An overwhelming number of bookmakers cancel bets already placed or refuse to accept bets on a particular match or outcome.
A logical explanation can be found for each factor. For example, the favorite may have played weakly with a typical underdog, since it has lost the proper motivation, since it won the tournament prematurely, or the coach decided to test new substitute players, since the team is already the champion anyway and has nothing to lose.
Match Fixing in Sports
Match fixing can take place in any commercial sport, irrespective of the championship level. In the more established leagues such matches are much less than in the lesser known second-ranked divisions. It is not for nothing that bookmakers place their betting limits, where for the popular events of top leagues the maximal stakes may exceed the maximal ones of unpopular 2-3 tier events dozens of times. And they often refuse to accept bets on some leagues.
Football is the most popular game in the world, which makes a lot of money, so the number of rigged matches in this game is breaking all records. So the income of those who take part in these matches can be compared only to those who hit a jackpot with a casino welcome bonus – 22Bet.
Quite often in the list of doubtful matches, there is the game of the group stage of Euro 2004 between the national teams of Denmark and Sweden. Both teams at the time needed a draw, not just any draw, but a 2-2 score, which would have allowed both teams to reach the quarterfinals, leaving Italy behind. In the end, the match ended that way, with a score of 2-2, which was achieved right at the end of the game.
Many match-fixing games take place in tennis where it is easier to organize a dishonest match than in team sports. As a rule in tennis less-known tennis players are caught in match fixing, when the suspicious meetings of the top-ranked stars are never recognized as match fixing, otherwise it would greatly hurt the image of the world tennis.
But such matches in tennis is not a rare phenomenon. Even among the elite athletes sometimes news can slip in. For example, as claimed by Novak Djokovic, he was offered about $200,000 to intentionally bribe him to throw a game, to which the Serbian replied no.
Unlike football and tennis, hockey is not distinguished by frequent scandals on the subject of rigged matches, although this does not mean that the game with a stick and puck is crystal clear, just here to prove the nature of the rigged game is much harder. Besides, the money turnover in hockey is significantly inferior to that in tennis, not to mention football.