31 December 2023
Sports are one of the biggest human-organized activities in the world, and one of the major problems it has faced for many years has been match-fixing. Match fixing discredits the credibility of games loved by billions of people across all countries of the world. There are numerous reasons why people get involved in match-fixing, but it is mostly about money.
This blog will look into the 20 biggest match-fixing scandals based on the number of people involved.
In 2009, over 200 people were involved in what was known as one of the biggest match-fixing scandals in Europe. Football matches were fixed in the European Champions League and Europe League, involving match officials, players, and coaches.
The 2013 Goal Gallour Scandal saw two teams, Plateau United Feeders and Babayaro FC, score 79 and 67 goals, respectively, without any of the opposing teams scoring a single goal, and this is not a basketball game but a football game. The two teams were hoping for a promotion, and goals will determine their fate. The four teams were suspended. About 80 people were involved in this scandal.
The 1971 Bundesliga Scandal can not be forgotten easily by the federation. Even after more than 50 years, it happened. It was one of the darkest times in Germany’s football history. The scandal involved 60 people, including players, coaches, and managers of several Bundesliga clubs who were all involved in match-fixing in one way or the other.
The 2007 Calciopoli Scandal came by surprise, and the two biggest footballing bodies, FIFA and UEFA, were entangled in the scandal. The scandal involved teams mostly from Seria A, with Juventus being the most involved. In the end, 41 people were found to be involved in the scandal.
The CCNY Beavers match-fixing scandal saw 32 players from seven colleges in the United States agreeing to take bribes to influence a game. This scandal happened as far back as the 1950s
The 1982 World Cup match showed no level where match-fixing can not happen. Both teams went into the game knowing that all West Germany needed to qualify against Algeria was just a 1-0 win in their favor. They worked out the game to achieve the result. As soon as Germany scored the needed goal, the rest of the game was all a scam. There was hardly any tackle, and the ball hardly reached any of the team's penalty areas. Both teams were involved in it. At least 30 people were involved in this scandal.
The 1980 Totonero Scandal involved mostly two Seria A clubs, Lazio and AC Milan. Players from these teams were involved in tampering with machines in Seria A and B. 20 people were involved and banned because of their involvement in the scandal. The ban also robbed the Italian team, as about half of the banned people were involved in the Italian team.
This scandal is the most absurd of all the match-fixing scandals. Someone staged a fake Togolese national team to organize a friendly with the Bahrain national team in what was known as a global betting scam. At least 13 people were involved. The eleven players on the team, the coach, and the Togo football representative were all fake. This incident brought national shame to both countries.
The 1919 Black Sox Scandal is one of the oldest matching fixing scandals in the sport that was involved in baseball. The scandal saw the beautiful baseball game being played for gamblers while players got their cut for helping gamblers rig the game. 8 people were later discovered to be involved and were banned permanently from having anything to do with baseball.
The year 1993 saw a huge scandal hitting Ligue de Football Professionnel League. The scandal involved Marseille’s football club officials bribing players or managers of other football clubs so that the game would go their way. Marseille was stripped of their league for that season for their involvement. In the end, 6 people were found to be involved, and some of them were sentenced to prison or received a ban from the game.
The Maurice Odumbe Scandal involved 6 people. But the mastermind of this scam was Odumbe, hence why the scandal was named after him. Odumbe was associated with Raj, and they formed a syndicate to fix African International matches for betting. Odumbe was later found guilty of twelve count charges. In addition, 3 Kenyans and 1 Ugandan received a ban too.
The 1978 to 1979 Boston College point-shaving scandal is among the oldest sports betting scandals. The mastermind behind this scandal was Henry Hill. He deliberately recruited four Boston College basketball players to lose games for him for two seasons. In the end, 5 people were known to be involved in the scandal.
In 2010, Mazhar Majeed was discovered to have accepted money from an unknown third party to help fix matches. Majeed involved Salma Butt, Mohammed Amir, and Mohammed Asif in the cricket match-fixing scandal. The match-fixing specifically happened in the match between England and Pakistan. In the end, 5 people were known to be involved in this scandal.
The 2013 IPL fixing scandal involved 4 people. G Sampath Kumar was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment, while three players were banned for their involvement in this scam.
Hansie Cronje was a South African cricket player who was the captain of his team, but later on in his life, greed set in, and the one-time hero of the South African cricket team was banned from the games. He was found guilty of supplying information about team selection for the first test of a game. Herschelle Gibbs, Sanjay Chawla, and Henry Williams were also involved. In all, 4 people were involved.
The 2007 NBA betting was one of the major talking points in the NBA in 2007. Surprisingly, one of the best referees in the NBA, Donaghy, was also involved, in addition to Jimmy Battista and Tommy Martino. Donaghy used his position as a ref to gain vital information about the team, players, owners, and coach and share this information with his accomplish to bet with. In the end, 3 people were known to be involved.
The 1994 cricket scandal sent a shocking wave to the cricket federation of Australia. The scandal involved 3 people: Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, and one unknown name. They provided information to an Indian national gambler when the Australian team was on tour in Sri Lanka.
Orlando Marques Henriques was the manager of East Timor’s U23 when he got himself involved in match-fixing with two others. The Singapore FA subsequently suspended him. 3 people were known to be involved.
In 2018, the game of cricket saw another dark side when Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, and David Warner were found to be involved in what was later known as the Sandpaper Gate. The 3 people involved were found guilty of trying to tamper with the ball in one of the matches with Cape Town, South Africa.
The 2015 Host Game Scandal is one of the most complicated match-fixing scandals of all time, and it remains a mystery who pulled that off until today. The match-fixing was in a game between Slutsksakhar Slutsk and FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk. The shocking thing was that this machine never happened, but betting sites like Bet365 took bets on the match and paid out money at the end of the game. Both teams claimed that they were not aware of the match. So, who staged it? We don't know who fixed the match, but at least 1 person was involved.
Europe is the content that has witnessed the biggest match-fixing scandal, with the 2009 Europe scandal involving 200 people. This is not surprising because it has the most sporting activities compared to other continents. There is hardly any scandal involving only one person, and the driving factor has always been money and greed.
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