The fraud scandal in Belgian football points to a structural problem of sport. Like doping, the other great evil, corruption has been underestimated for too long.
Comment by Barbara Klimke
Three tennis careers ended in one fell swoop earlier in the week. The fame of Anucha Tongplew, Apisit Promchai and Chitchai Srililai was limited only to the unterklassige future tour. This is the suspicious behavior of the referee trio of anti-fraud unit of the World Associations noticed: The three referees were locked for life. Game manipulation and betting fraud is the reproach, for the personal profit, the confessed trio probably falsified lists of results.
The case again casts a shadow on a trade, which an independent commission of inquiry certified years ago as a "serious problem of integrity". The white sport is already susceptible to dirty machinations because of the structure of the competition: two, a maximum of four players per game, a referee, high prize money, plus thousands of matches every day to bet on. Since the circle of the Mitwisser remains small.
Champions League match between Paris and Belgrade is targeted
Investors are reportedly suspecting betting fraud after the French win 6-1. A Belgrade leader is said to have set about five million euros in a defeat with five goals difference.
The felt in distant Thai tennis initially delivered only a snapshot. Quickly washed away by the daily flood of points, goals and tables that make up sport. But by the middle of the week, the topic was back when the raids began in Belgian football. It's about much larger dimensions. The suspicion of money laundering, tax fraud and corruption is in the room; at least two league games should have been postponed. Several arrest warrants were issued during the night of Friday, including against the players 'advisors Dejan Veljkovic and Mogi Bayat, allegedly affiliated with the affected clubs through their clients' contracts, and against a referee. Because the investigation also refers to top clubs such as Bruges or Anderlecht, the affair has already crossed the Belgian borders; she could even contaminate the Champions League.
Speaking of Champions League: On Friday evening followed the news that the 1-6 of Red Star Belgrade at Paris St. Germain is under suspicion of manipulation. It should not surprise anyone. Sport is a global business. From other industries distinguishes him only his nature, which consists of pure competition. Out of competition – match, game, duel – plus rules. Anyone who breaks these has often already gained an unfair advantage. Enlarged, the attack surface for manipulations has constantly increased by larger amounts of money in circulation. Sportradar, the leading provider of sports data analysis, recently estimated that the sports betting market alone had a turnover of one trillion euros. Since it can make even with per thousand use neat cash register. This explains why in the gangster milieu the activities have increasingly shifted to match-fixing, facilitated by modern communication: influence by mouse click and app.
One knows the sport fraud since the antique one
Little is new. Criminal machinations in football have also been on record in Germany since the Bundesliga scandal in the seventies. One knows the sport fraud, since in antique Greece athletes competed to the wrestling.
Negligent, however, was the attitude of the sports associations, which underestimated the old problem for a long time. And then, like the second problem area, structural doping, marginalized. After all, since the 2008 Games, the International Olympic Committee has been systematically monitoring the movements on the betting market of experts; The German Football Association cooperates with the controllers of Sportradar. But in the end, that too is part of the truth of the sport, it will be as it is known from the Greek mythology: If one kicks off a Hydra head, a new one grows up.
Delicate agreements, strange whistles
A fraud scandal is likely to shake the professional football in Belgium lasting. Five people are charged, a coach spent the night in prison – and two first division games are under suspicion.
By Thomas Kirchner