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Match-fixing “threatens survival” of football

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

DeclanHill BookCoverDeclan Hill is an investigative journalist and documentary maker with a special interest in organised crime. His 2008 book The Fix: Soccer and Organised Crime dealt with match-fixing in football and he spoke on that very subject at the FSF’s 2010 Annual Conference. Declan’s latest book The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing in Football is out now and, in an open letter to fans, he argues that match fixing is a serious threat to football’s future…

Dear football fans,

There is a wave of match-fixing that is threatening the very survival of our sport.

National police investigations are occurring in over-sixty different countries, hundreds of matches have been fixed, over one thousand players, coaches and referees have been arrested.

The response by many football officials – particularly in Britain – has been to bury their heads in the sand. This is dangerous. This wave of fixing is based on something almost entirely new.

It will destroy football, unless we fight it.

I am not alone in using such strong words. Michel Platini the President of UEFA, a man not given to courting controversy, has said, “The credibility of the entire sport of football is in danger [and] European football is in fear.”

To fight it this new wave of corruption we have to understand it.

The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing in Football is an analysis of the motivations, the mechanisms and the methods within this modern form of fixing.

It is an academic book for non-academics. It is based on my doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford. However, I have tried very hard to make it clear, readable and compelling for the intelligent football fan.

The publisher describes it as “Freakonomics meets football corruption”.

Read it and be prepared to be shocked about the true extent of fixing in football, but also be prepared to learn how we can fight against the fixing and protect the sport we love.

Declan Hill

  • Buy your copy of The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing in Football here.

The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF.

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