Pep Guardiola vows to stay at Bayern Munich whatever the outcome of Champions League tie with Porto

If you win, you’re a genius, and if you lose, you have lots of problems, but that’s the nature of my job. Schweinsteiger trained again today for the first time and the more players I have the better. “That’s my future.

“That impresses me when I see how many problems we have had, but I know which club I am at and it isn’t enough to win the Bundesliga and the cup. “I will speak with our doctor but my feeling is that he can’t make it. “If we win on Saturday against Hertha Berlin, we’ll be champions.

Having inherited a Bayern team from Jupp Heynckes which ended the 2012-13 season as winners of the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League, Guardiola has maintained the club’s domestic dominance but failed to deliver in Europe.

Bayern have won all four home games in the Champions League this season, scoring 13 goals and conceding none. But I do not know who will play or who can play. “We have to play smart and avoid kamikaze tactics,” Muller said. Only a treble is enough for a club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern, but I am proud to be here with these players.”

“This is a big club, so you can’t say we are in a cosy situation. A 2-0 win at home against Porto wouldn’t be a miracle, would it? We will have the crowd behind us, but it’s down to us to score the goals on the pitch.”

Premier League referee Martin Atkinson has been appointed to take charge of the game.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Germany midfielder, is expected to play after recovering from a flu bug.

Despite steering Bayern to the brink of another domestic double, Guardiola admits that he will be a failure if the club do not win the Champions League this season.

Thomas Müller, the Germany international, has insisted that there is no reason for his team to panic. It makes no sense to be on the pitch if you don’t want to turn it around.

“I do not think that Franck can play,” Guardiola said. I know it won’t be easy, but I am 100 per cent optimistic that we’ll do it.”

Bayern Munich celebrate their 2013 European Cup victory in London

“We are just a few steps away from winning the German Cup and the German league,” Guardiola said. Shakhtar Donetsk, the Ukrainian champions, were subjected to a 7-0 demolition in the Allianz Arena in the last round.

“We have to take more risks after the first-leg result, but I am happy to be here in this stage of the competition.

Guardiola goes into the second leg with a depleted squad following Bayern’s injury crisis

“I am positive. “Of course we feel the pressure, we have our backs to the wall, but having a challenge is a good thing for us.

“It is important to stay focused and score at least twice, but we can’t leave ourselves vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Last season, the five-time European champions went out 5-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the semi-finals, while Porto stand on the verge of claiming a place in the last four for the first time since winning the competition under Jose Mourinho in 2004 if they can inflict more Champions League misery on Bayern.

“We want to turn it around and I am completely convinced that my players will take their chances.”

A 2-0 victory against Porto, who will be without injured forward Cristian Tello and suspended defenders Danilo and Alex Sandro, will be enough to secure a semi-final berth for Bayern.

Manchester City are monitoring Guardiola’s situation but the 44-year-old insisted on Monday that he would not surrender his position, regardless of the outcome of the Porto tie.

“My future is: Wednesday free, Thursday training, and, of course, next year to be here,” Guardiola said. In the past months, I always decided on my line-up an hour before the game.

A mounting injury crisis could dent Bayern’s hopes, however, with French winger Franck Ribery set to join Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Javi Martínez and Mehdi Benatia on the sidelines.

Football Weekly: Wales and Northern Ireland remain on course for Euro 2016 | Football

Once more into the breach we go, podders, as AC Jimbo, John Ashdown, Ian McCourt and the returning Barry Glendenning tackle the international break.

Having sated ourselves with all that, we turn our attention once more to your questions, and as a special treat, we’ve even got an extract from our Football Weekly Live in London event, which took place last Friday night.


It was a weekend full of cheer for the home nations – and Ireland – as all remain in the hunt for Euro 2016 qualification, not least England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Which is nice.

Danny Welbeck returns to send 10-man Man Utd out of cup

Di Maria was initially booked for simulation and took his protests too far by grabbing the official, which led to his instant dismissal.

Arsenal had taken a 25th minute lead through Nacho Monreal, the Spanish defender converting after fine move which involved Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Story highlights

Arsenal beats Man Utd 2-1 in FA Cup quarterfinal

Former Manchester United player Danny Welbeck scores winner

Holders Arsenal took the lead through Nacho Monreal before Wayne Rooney equalized

Angel Di Maria sent off for shoving referee in second half

His counterpart van Gaal will now, barring a miracle, be left without a trophy in his first season in charge of the English powerhouses, with the pressure now on to seal a top four place in the EPL to guarantee Champions League football next season.

Read: Van Gaal into ‘hard work not predictions’

Follow us at @CNNSport and like us on Facebook

The England striker was surplus to requirements at Louis van Gaal’s United, but was quick to capitalize on a mistake by Antonio Valencia to grab the winner just after the hour mark.

United looked to press ahead for the winner, but home hopes were dashed when Valencia made a hash of a back pass and Welbeck was quick to latch on to the loose ball and beat De Gea.

Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers will play Aston Villa in the other semifinal.

But the advantage was short lived with Di Maria finding Wayne Rooney to score with a diving header.

‘I believe it was justice for him to score he worked extremely hard today,’ Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of Welbeck.

Victory for Arsenal booked a return to Wembley for a last four clash with either Reading or Bradford City, who are replaying their quarterfinal tie next Monday.

A disappointing night for United was compounded by a late red card for Argentina international Angel Di Maria, who was given his marching orders after manhandling referee Michael Oliver.

With 10 men, United was never able to exert any real pressure on Arsenal and it took two fine saves David De Gea to deny further goals from Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez for the away side.

Disposal of Investment — TAIPEI, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –

The transaction has resulted in an increase of approximately US$ 18 million in the Company’s cash position and has the effect of enhancing its working capital.

Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, GigaMedia Limited (Singapore registration number: 199905474H) is a diversified provider of online games and cloud computing services. Information as to certain factors that could cause actual results to vary can be found in GigaMedia’s Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2014.

SOURCE GigaMedia Limited

Amanda Chang

Investor Relations Department

Country/City Code 8862 Tel: 2656-8080


For further information contact:

. GigaMedia’s online games business is an innovative leader in Asia with growing game development, distribution and operation capabilities, as well as platform services for games; focus is on mobile games and social casino games. About GigaMedia

TAIPEI, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — GigaMedia Limited (NASDAQ: GIGM) today announced that the Company completed a disposal of securities investment during the period between April 13, 2015 and April 15, 2015 on Taiwan open market through block sales. GigaMedia cautions readers that forward-looking statements are based on the company’s current expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. The total selling price is slightly higher than the investment cost. The company’s cloud computing business is focused on providing enterprises in Greater China with critical communications services and IT solutions that increase flexibility, efficiency and competitiveness. More information on GigaMedia can be obtained from

The statements included above and elsewhere in this press release that are not historical in nature are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

How can I buy 3 Arsenal BPL tickets at the Emirates?

I’ll be going to London this upcoming december to visit all uni’s and I’d like to watch the Arsenal at the Emirates. How can i get 3 tickets? I know i should first become a member, but i’m living in Jakarta (Indonesia), idk if it’s possible that the membership package can be shipped to outside uk? If it’s possible then i don’t mind to register. show more Hey guys, so I decided to take my uni at the UK because i’m a massive Arsenal fan. Additional Details

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Hey guys, so I decided to take my uni at the UK because i’m a massive Arsenal fan. I’ll be going to London this upcoming december to visit all uni’s and I’d like to watch the Arsenal at the Emirates. Any other ways to get those tickets at the Emirates? Please kindly tell, thank you.

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Hey guys, so I decided to take my uni at the UK because i’m a massive Arsenal fan. Any other ways to get those tickets at the Emirates? Please kindly tell, thank you.

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How can I buy 3 Arsenal BPL tickets at the Emirates? | Yahoo Answers

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look for shady looking people around the ground on match day

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Additional Details

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How can I buy 3 Arsenal BPL tickets at the Emirates?

. How can i get 3 tickets? I know i should first become a member, but i’m living in Jakarta… How can i get 3 tickets? I know i should first become a member, but i’m living in Jakarta (Indonesia), idk if it’s possible that the membership package can be shipped to outside uk? If it’s possible then i don’t mind to register. I’ll be going to London this upcoming december to visit all uni’s and I’d like to watch the Arsenal at the Emirates

Which way does a merry-go-round turn?

sort of an “F you” to the Brits … and that is why Nascar today is “stand on the gas and turn left”

. and when auto racing began, they first used the same race tracks as the horses, so they went counterclockwise more or less out of habit or convenience … when horse racing was started in the US, they decided to go counterclockwise simply to be opposite of the British …

just to add to Lexa’s answer ..

Nick Before He was Famous Video

Born in San Diego, California, the son of a televangelist, his faith was and still is very important to him. It is important to point out that a bodyguard is not the same thing as a protection professional. This World Cup we see a large number of veteran remains the backbone of the team. She confirms that she is pregnant and expecting a mino……


GREEN BAY, Wis. It doesn\’t seem to be considerably of a surprise for most of the individuals who have been dogging her footstep.

A look back at actor, comedian and rapper Nick Cannon before he was famous.

This cigar is a comeback from the original Perdomo Nick’s Sticks cigars rolled in Nick Perdomo’s garage and originally only available to the local market where he lived in Miami, Florida. Some famous psychics that have practically achieved celebrity status include Sylvia Browne, Miss Cleo, Danielle Egnew, and John Edward….. Collins apologized to his team and his fans on Wednesday for drawing negative attention to the Packers after he confronted a fan as he left the field and threw his mouthpiece into the stands….

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I have worked in executive protection for various clients and individuals and have met many so called bodyguards during my experience. Recent news suggests that she is going the motherhood way. Nick’s Sticks comes in three different wrappers Maduro, Sun Grown, and Connecticut……


Nick Collins: \’I could have walked away\’

He was a thailand soccer jerseys fan

There are so several folks all more than the planet who are \”obsessed\” with the diva, Mariah Carey. Also active in student line, Nick made the track and field team where he runs sprints and the long jump, which explains how Nick Cannon has been able to role and bounced his way to the top.

Bodyguard Thought He Was a Gunslinger

Nick Before He was Famous

Famous Psychics

In the realm of psychic powers, a few notable individuals have received a lot of attention. We\’re Pregnant! Her husband Nick Cannon and she have eventually made the decision to inform all to individuals who had guessed it all some time in the past. It’s not just the difference in training, it’s in the attitude….

South Africa World Cup World Cup to be lonely, this is gathered, old, stars, blue third generation gathered in South Africa climb quadrennial Football Training Equipment, the old, middle, and blue components of the World Cup Stadium real order fans dazzled. He was a model student at Monte Vista High School, where the drum line star, who is a president of the African Student Coalition. — Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins says he should have just walked away, no matter what a fan might have done or said to him after Monday night\’s loss at Chicago. Voted the best dress male student his senior and was even a member of the fashion club. Wholesale football shirt shop sales are absolutely good….

Nick Before He was Famous It’s time to turn back to clock on another Hollywood star

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EPL team by team preview – National England Football

Hughes should add toughness; his Blackburn teams were always among the most disciplined sides in the league and defense wasn’t going to be a problem. While the likes of Gareth Barry and Aaron Lennon came into their own last season, it’s difficult to see them making dramatic improvement this term and with added games, it could be a disappointing season at White Hart Lane.

Everton have for so long been not quite good enough to crack the top 4 but clearly better than the mid table pack and you get the impression that something has to give. Big Sam brought in Man United youngster Mame Biram Diouf on loan which should add flair to their attack.

Or look at Cesc Fabregas. In defense, Patrice Evra is probably the best left-back in the world despite an embarassing tenure as Captain of France.. Now he’s a World Cup champion and set up the winning goal for his country. This team has won every honor you can on the England level, the Champions League is what stands as the great prize and I could see them laying down in a few league games if it meant being rested and sharp for Europe. David Moyes has expressed interest in bringing Landon Donovan back to Ewood Park but has so far been put off by the high price tag the Galaxy have put on the player.

Newcastle – The Magpies dominated the Championship last season finishing up with over 100 points and should come into this season focused and eager to prove themselves. Players such as Craig Bellamy, Emmanuel Adebayor, Shay Given, and Martin Petrov are all out or on their way leaving a host of new players many of which have never played in England. Bent fizzled as the season went along but still ended up third in the league in goals with 24. But Pool quickly pried Roy Hodgson from Fulham; a respected, experienced manager who has, to this point, been able to convince the club’s stars to stay. Yossi Benayoun and Ramires are fast, creative, and technically sound and great additions to a side coming off a season where they won the double. New manager Roberto Martinez will be hoping to find a little more consistency this term and especially a better defensive record having given up the second most goals in the league last season (79). They rarely are blown out and are tough to beat at home.

All this said however, the Reds haven’t done anything significant to improve a seventh place side. Another question is how will the form of Michael Essien be after missing the entire second half of the season and the World Cup.

The pull of the World Cup has an interesting relationship with the form of domestic leagues. Alex McLeish hasn’t slowed down splashing a fair amount of cash, for such a small club, bringing in Serbian striker Nikola Zigic arriving on a 6 million pound deal with Valencia. Wegner also added Marouane Chamakh, whose best skill as a striker is holding the ball and distributing.

West Ham have queitly been among the league’s most busy clubs this transfer period with former Lazio man Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera, Winston Reid, and Tal Ben-Haim all arriving to East London. And the unpopular ownership pair of Hicks and Gilette appear to be selling to wealthier foreign investors who have promised to take care of the debt situation.

Wigan – Wigan beat Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal last season and also lost to Man United 5-0 twice, 9-1 to Spurs, and 8-0 to Chelsea. This season he should bring the same quality to Arsenal, but a different mentality.

Arsenal – After surrendering 41 goals in the 09-10 season, Arsene Wegner claimed that his defense was not good enough to legitimately contend for the title. Croyle was hoping to take England and Arsenal starlet, Jack Wilshere on loan for another term after being impressed with the youngster following his arrival to the Reebok last January, but was denied by Arsene Wegner.

So why are Arsenal going to win the 2010-2011 season? Firstly, when Arsenal have been at their best in recent years, they dominate possesion of the ball and the key to this is the return of the captain, Cesc Fabregas. But the key here is Yaya Toure. O’Neill, who had been with the club since 2006 is one of the best managers in the premiership and will be sorely missed by a team that has ground out top eight finishes in each of the last three seasons. If West Ham holds on to their captain, the Hammers could surprise a lot of people and finish up in the top ten.

West Bromwich Albion – West Brom since 2001: Promoted, Relegated, Promoted, Stayed up, Relegated, Stayed down, Promoted, Relegated, and Promoted. They’ll need to get out to a fast start which will be difficult as three of their first five league games are against Arsenal and the Manchester clubs.

Birmingham have a talented core and exciting younger players such as Sebastian Larsson and James O’Shea and could make a run at a Europa League spot.

Manchester United – United’s 3-1 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield showed that they’re ready for the new season to begin. Players are generally in top condition in the year or two leading up to the cup, fringe players are doing their best to stand out, and leagues are generally very competitive during that time. Joey Barton.

This season shouldn’t be any easier for Steve Bruce’s side. Redknapp has already complained about his own club’s busy preseason scheduling.

Considering recent events it’s hard to see Villa finishing in the top four and possibly not even in a Europa League position.

Bolton Wanderers – Owen Croyle brought in Martin Petrov, Marcos Alonso, and Ivan Klasnic in the offseason which should be enough of a boost to keep them out of the relegation zone. He’s not only been to the tournament that all players dream of, he immortalized himself in it. To be fair, neither are terribly bad but for a young team that needs marshalling and organization, both are unassertive and inspire little confidence in the defense around them.

As has been the case in recent years, United are loaded on the wings. Adding insult to injury, there are strong indications that the Villians will sell England international James Milner to Manchester City.

Wolverhampton – Stephen Hunt and former Burnley striker Steven Fletcher are solid additions to a team that scored the fewest goals in the Premiership last season. And this doesn’t even get into the goalkeeper issue. It’s unlikely Wigan will have the same sort of luck against the top clubs and will struggle to stay up.

Either way, Spurs have been quiet this transfer period with the only addition being the return of Robbie Keane back from his loan stint with Celtic. Saturday starts the 38 game countdown til Blackpool is back in the Championship.

by David Wittstock

Blackburn Rovers – Blackburn is perhaps the least interesting team in premiership. First Rafa Benitez resigned, Yossi Benayoun was sold to Chelsea and the club’s biggest stars Stephen Gerrard and Fernando Torres looked close to leaving as well. Austrailian international goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer looks set to stay after being linked to Arsenal over the summer abutSwiss international Philippe Senderos who joined the club on a free transfer will now miss a significant chunk of the season after a late training injury.

Blackpool – Blackpool finished sixth in the Championship last season but were promoted after winning out in the Championship playoff. I suspect that Newcastle, as much as any team, will need success early in the season to establish a good feeling around the club. The Red Devils have enough champions and intangible qualities to compete for the league but with an aging first team and talented, younger reserves that aren’t yet ready, United feel like they’re in transition. With transfer spending in excess of 100 million Euros and counting, City have, on paper at least, bolstered their squad significantly. In response to this problem, Wegner allowed William Gallas and the resurgent Sol Campbell to leave and brought in the promising but unproven Laurent Koscielny from League 1 side, Lorient. How long can Sir Alex Ferguson milk the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Edwin Vander Sar? Additionally, Rio Ferdinand is out until at least September leaving the young but capable Johnny Evans to fill in alongside Nemanja Vidic.

Sunderland – Darrent Bent was so hot at the beginning of last season he was scoring off beach balls. With that group now mature, with a little karma on their side after terrible injury luck in recent seasons, and also under the condition they add reinforcements to the defence, I expect the Gunners will get over the hump this season and be crowned 2010-2011 season.

The addition of these players also means the subtraction of quality talent who are proven on the Premier League level. Antonio Valencia and Nani are one year older and more experienced, the age-less Giggs will perform well as always, and Park Ji-Seung rounds out an explosive set of options out wide. The key player of course is Scott Parker who has been linked this summer with a potential move to Spurs. Below is a team by team preview of each team and predicted finish.

Stoke City – Stoke’s 09-10 season was rumoured to be beiseiged with in-fighting but even so, the Potters still managed an 11th place finish in their second season in the top division. Everything is seemingly in play from their first League Championship since 1968 to spectacular self destruction and a typical mid table finish. Last term the Potters only scored 10 goals away from home good which was last in the league.

The problem with Fulham last year was scoring and in that department, they haven’t improved. None of their players are very exciting, they probably won’t be in the relegation battle and won’t be anywhere near a Europa League spot. For example, after the turmoil of John Terry’s 09-10 season and then the ultimate failure of the English national team, can he really be expected to be driven by the same fire that drove him a year ago at this time?

This season also looks to be the first in about a half decade where the majority of the first team is an experienced, mature professional. Always suffering from in-fighting, it seems as though they’ve found solid chemistry under Chris Hughton and the veteran leadership of Kevin Nolan and… Clint Dempsey returns as well as Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson up front but this team’s problem is still in the center of the pitch.

Fulham – Despite a historic run to the UEFA Cup final, Fulham actually had a uninspiring run in the premiership, finishing 12th. But will it be enough keep them up one more year? I’m thinking not.

Manchester City – The biggest question mark of the 10-11 season is undoubtedly the big spending Manchester City. Add to this an enormous club debt and a dysfunctional ownership situation and the club looked closer than ever to disaster. The massive Ivory Coast midfielder controls the pace of games, kills attacks with tough tackling and even can provide pin point passing going forward. But with the expected signings of Mario Balotelli and James Milner, you get the impression that there’s too much turnover, too many star players to fit in, and no plan other than to simply throw a bunch of big names together and worry about how it’ll fit afterwards.

And so it is that the end of a World Cup can sometimes bring dramatic change to the order of the next four years of a domestic league. Among Spurs regular starting eleven only Peter Crouch and Jonathan Woodgate have played in the Champions League so it will likely be Europe that draws much of Spurs attention this season. This will be difficult as their first two games are against Man United and Aston Villa.

The key to Chelsea’s league run will simply be motivation. Players such as Abou Diaby, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Nik Bendtner, and Samir Nasri have grown from players who have for years been training on the job, to players who have come into their own with real quality and excellent chemistry with those around them.

Chelsea – Chelsea are quietly putting together an excellent transfer period shedding past their prime stars and bringing in younger, hungrier talent to an established side. Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool and the West London club brought in Mark Hughes as a replacement. But even with Bent’s hot form, Sunderland struggled to keep themselves mid table and out of the relegation battle.

But overall, in two of the last three years Arsenal have had something to say in the title race deep in the season and all while nurturing a core group who were college aged. Of course they are right? United are rarely surprised and rarely unprepared. But there’s a strong feeling of World Cup hangover surrounding the club and a poor preseason campaign shows they aren’t ready for the season to begin. Somehow Rovers finished last term in 10th place thanks in most part to an excellent home record. Following the season they dumped manager Gianfranco Zola and brought in Pompey manager Avram Grant.

Sol Campbell also arrives on a free transfer and will play a key role in their season. It’s their first trip to England’s top flight since 1971. The addition of Joe Cole is a wash, at best, with the departure of Benayoun and while Milan Jovanovic came in, it’s looking as if Javier Masherano is on his way out. The Black Cats will need players like Lee Catermole to step up and take ownership of the midfield or they could see themselves in danger of going down.

In the aftermath of South Africa and a disappointing World Cup for England, there are many questions as to what role the league should play in the training and development of the national team, or conversely, if that relationship should exist at all.

Saturday begins a new season in the Barclay’s Premier League and it looks to be one of the most open and unpredictable seasons in recent memory.

Always careful of the Premier League brand and their national team, the FA handed down a rule requiring that every club have eight “homegrown” players who have played in England for at least three seasons.

Aston Villa – Villa were dealt a serious blow with the shocking resignation of Martin O’Neill on Monday. World Cup success or failure can change the course of players careers.

Liverpool – Order seems to be returning to Mercyside after a turbulent start to the summer. If they fall out early, you have to wonder how it will effect their mentality towards the Premier league season; if they advance, you have to wonder how they’ll respond physically to a significant increase in the number of games played. The Blues did lose Joe Hart when the England international returned to Man City with the expiration of his loan deal but McLeish bought United backup keeper, Ben Foster, to plug the whole.


Stoke will need to improve their attack and away form if they’re to push for anything significant this season. After a series of high profile gaffes, the Emirates Stadium faithful have little confidence in keepers Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski. Tony Pulis’s team is built around a tough defense and efficient ball movement. Thankfully for them their August fixtures are West Brom, Wigan, and at home to Stoke.

Tottenham Hotspur – Finishing last season in fourth place gave Spurs their first Champions League appearance since 1961, when Harry Redknapp was 13 years old. Four years ago he was an 18 year old just beginning to get playing time with Arsenal and watching his country in Germany. A great pick up who should terrorize Premier League opposition.

West Ham – 2009-10 was a turbulent season for the Hammers as they faced severe money issues, takeover speculation, and uninspiring form which saw them just hold on to the Premier League. Campbell showed great form after his return to Arsenal last January and should have another season or two of good play in him. Keeping with that pattern they should stay up.

Everton – After starting the 2009 season in poor form as they dealt with the Jolean Lescott transfer saga, the Toffees were one of the Premier Leagues better clubs as the season wore along.

Birmingham City – Speaking of surprises, Birmingham surprised everyone last term with a ninth place finish. After a summer of intense speculation surrounding a potential return to Barcelona, Fabregas chose (or was forced) to stay in London. On paper, there’s an argument to be made that Chelsea are even stronger than they were last year. Though Bruce brought in Cristian Riveros from Cruz Azul and Titus Bramble from Wigan, he lost captain Lorik Cana to Galatasaray

The threat to football from betting-related corruption.

They also benefited from its ability to enable the creation of entirely new versions of the product and new types of market. It is the repository of dreams and a sphere where many of our heroes are made. American Economic Review, 96(2), 279-283.

(3) Asian betting markets pay out on the basis of the score at the time a match is abandoned.

The Challenge Faced by Football Authorities

This framework proves useful in identifying where integrity risk is likely to be highest, for example where income from playing the sport is low, where underperformance carries little cost in terms of prize money or seasonal ranking, and where lax monitoring makes detection unlikely. (12) In Europe, associations of state lottery betting operators and private sector betting firms have also each coordinated surveillance systems for monitoring and reporting evidence of unusual betting activity.

European Commission. Manchester United, likely reached 1b [euro]. In European football, Sportradar is a contractor which, on behalf of UEFA, and in respect of both UEFA competitions and matches in European domestic leagues, monitors some 300 betting websites for irregular odds movements. At the national level, the law has to be capable of being used to prosecute offenders, but it is not always clear under what law a fixer can be charged. Working paper, Lancaster University.

This is not to say that criminals will not sometimes seek to manipulate one aspect or one phase of a match. Demand will not be shifted.

(v) In February 2012, a former World Cup referee received a prison sentence of more than five years from a Chinese court for rigging matches in the domestic league.

If fixing is a financial crime, it is also one with potentially serious financial consequences for football. On the basis of this evidence, significant growth in betting volumes should have occurred as e-commerce drove down bookmaker margins.

There are, then, limits to the role of national regulators where the market is global and the major threat comes from international organized crime. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(1), 3-12.

So, compared with a decade ago, and probably because of the availability of e-betting, liquidity in the sports betting market is now dramatically higher. They may be especially vulnerable to influence by senior players and coaches, and there is evidence that criminal gangs tend to approach young players through such channels. Criminal proceedings are ongoing at the time of writing, but the football authorities have already imposed sanctions on 15 clubs and 18 individuals, numbers reflecting how widespread the corruption was alleged to be.

Author’s Note

David Forrest

Wolfers, J. The exchange itself has no stake in the outcome, because its income is a percentage commission, which appears to remove one source of integrity risk. These bets are sometimes termed ‘proposition bets.’ The ability to automate odds setting by installing appropriate software has also lead to the routine availability of ‘live’ (in-play) betting, and this has been embraced by clients to such an extent that 70% of stakes on football are now placed during a match.

In terms of new types of market, the most obvious illustration is the emergence of person-to-person selling (the e-Bay phenomenon). In the first, in 1994, the veteran Liverpool goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbellaar, was accused of fixing after being filmed discussing arranging matches with a Malaysian businessman. The Macedonian club FK Pobeda is currently excluded from UEFA competitions for eight years following a fix which it instigated but where the betting was by a criminal organization. Restrictions proposed include prohibition of types of bet and styles of betting (for example, in-play) and limits on the proportion of stakes permitted to be returned as winnings. (8)

The Modus Operandi of Fixers

Changes in the Architecture of Sports Betting

Sports governing bodies have shown considerable concern over the threat to integrity from the availability of proposition bets. The loss at Ladbrokes’ odds would have been 11.13% of stakes. The same process in season 2010-2011 would have yielded a loss of 6.10% of stakes (most of this dramatic fall in price occurred after 2007). In the Bochum case, the gang sometimes recruited individual players, sometimes a whole team or even both teams.

So, value has improved from the perspective of consumers, just as would be expected in any sector of the economy into which e-commerce has made inroads. The narrative of recent events in football suggests that bribes are larger and offered more frequently than in the past. Law-abiding French bettors are made worse off by the restrictions, but it is not obvious that much is achieved in protecting French sports since bets related to large scale fraud will be channeled through more liquid international markets offering much better odds.

On the other hand, there is perhaps more plausibility in the context of sport in the proposition that individuals make poor decisions because they lack awareness of consequences. However, the database established by the monitoring system can identify individual players and referees who have been participants in a number of matches that have triggered alerts, and on occasion this has led to referees being required to retire by internal decision within the governing body.

(7) Similar stakes are observed in the case of the highest profile one day cricket internationals. (Strumpf, 2003), street bookmakers emerge and operate on a large scale, despite illegality, because demand is high. Young sports players have been reared in a very hothouse environment. (2)

Until 2010, legal betting in France was exclusively through a state-sanctioned monopolist; but new legislation then permitted sports betting on the Internet so long as it was with firms licensed by France and operating with an .fr web address. Over the same period, other sports have also come under the spotlight. Second, it made the business environment more competitive because it gave consumers access to more suppliers and made it easier for them to compare price offers, again putting downward pressure on price.

(13) Similarly, FIFA employs the ‘Early Warning System’ for use in World Cup and international fixtures. (2008b). Sports governing bodies have proposed prohibition of live betting. Brussels: European Commission.

The extent of the impact of the Internet varied across sectors of the economy. Odds were available for several such international operators and for several European leagues, and I found the same picture across the board as in the case of my specific illustrative example.

Betting sits readily in the set of industries where the general effects of e-commerce are likely to be most strongly felt. However, under the terms of the new law, sports bodies were given property rights over events within their jurisdiction (10) and can dictate what bets (defined by competition and by subject of wager) are authorized to be offered by the new operators. This suppressed demand could now express itself through Internet access to operators that were licensed in other jurisdictions.

(2) Legitimate gamblers may also become disillusioned when betting crime is revealed. This has indeed happened in betting as in other service sectors.

Any bookmaker has an incentive not to accept wagers that are likely to win, and some precaution is indeed taken by Asian websites to discourage agents from bringing them money staked by customers who are liable to be successful. Historically, instigators of a fix have included athletes betting on their own account, local betting syndicates, and bookmakers hoping to escape heavy pay-outs. In late 2011, BBC News referred to a further case that took this line of fraud to the limit when criminals created an entirely fictitious match and fed live news feeds about it for the benefit of betting markets on which they themselves then placed large wagers.

Buraimo, B., Migali, G., Simmons, R. Betting experts told IRIS researchers that the total staked on the 2011 European Champions League Final, Barcelona v. Corruption does not pay: An analysis of consumer response to Italy’s Calciopoli scandal. IRIS researchers asked traders with experience in Asia how much an agent could bet on the outcome of a Belgian second division match. The strategy enabled large sums to be won on the betting market.

Live betting raises integrity risk for another reason. The RGA Report cited estimates of the total bookmaker win, across the global market, as a proportion of stakes for each year from 2004, with projections to 2012. This is because it depends on the often false premise that individuals’ behavior would be different if only they had full information. The availability of live betting therefore raises integrity risk by creating new ways of manipulating the sport; but the aspects of the match to be arranged must be important enough to have a significant effect on the odds regarding final result or total goals. The demand for fixes is a derived demand, derived from the gains that are available to criminals from betting market activity. Green paper on on-line gambling in the internal market. A journalist, Declan Hill, who has written extensively on fixing, noted in February 2012 that one third of countries covered by FIFA had current police investigations into fixing. (1) On the other hand, casual observation of the trajectory of leagues where widespread corruption has taken hold suggests that there is a business as well as a sporting and an ethical case for football to prioritize measures to mitigate integrity risk. The winners in this process were clearly consumers, whether they bought online or remained customers of traditional outlets. It is instructive to note some of the cases that have been covered in newspapers in just the last 12 months.

MAG. (2011). Paris: l’Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques.

The matches in Turkey were fixed by using referees. His research interests include sport economics and the behavior of gamblers and gambling markets.

Forrest, D., Simmons, R. Cricket provides a famous example of ‘grooming.’ In 2000, Hansie Cronje executed the highest-level known sports fix since the 1919 baseball World Series when he used his captaincy decisions to lose a test match for South Africa against England. It is appropriate first to ask in general terms how e-commerce affected economic life.

Past cases, and especially the Bochum trial, reveal a rich variety of methods by which an external criminal group might seek to manipulate a football match. Experienced traders review anomalies, comparing betting activity with on-field events and checking whether there are ‘sporting’ explanations for incidents observed. In Strumpf’s study of American illegal bookmakers, most had sufficient capital to bear risk themselves rather than hedge (lay off) to the legal Nevada market. Later sections focus on the role of Asian markets and on the policy responses of governments, regulators, and sports governing bodies.

A Growing Problem?


As an illustration of this distinction, suppose football wished to guard against corrupt manipulation by referees. All rights reserved.

Borenstein, S., Saloner, G. Football administrators expressed concern to IRIS researchers that organized crime was infiltrating the sport through the purchase of ailing clubs. Attendance has collapsed and both the league sponsor (Pirelli) and the national broadcaster (China Central Television) withdrew from their involvement. In January 2011, a bogus promoter invited four national football federations to participate in a pair of exhibition matches staged in Turkey. It allows criminal money to be fed into the market slowly. (2010). (2011). Betting by French residents using foreign websites is technically illegal but, in a liberal society, there is unlikely to be sufficient public support for the draconian measures that would be necessary to make such activity impossible. His subject was U.S. Sport and gambling. For example, there was scope for some impact in the case of manufactured goods because the new mode of supplying buyers directly from a central warehouse permitted lower inventories to be carried; but it was limited because there was no direct effect on the cost of the production process itself. Jeux en ligne in the French market. In one year, the gang had paid bribes of 12m [euro] and had made a net profit of 7.5m [euro] (for a fuller review of the case, see IRIS, 2012, pp. Wolfers (2005) was the first to attempt to use a statistical approach in the context of fixing for betting gain. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 19(4), 598-611.

The structure of the betting industry in Asia follows from the illegality of betting activity in the majority of countries, including the largest, China and India. (2006). For example, online photo shops allowed personalized photo albums and photo stationery to be created and, subsequently, retail firms found that they had to offer the same service to compete. That sports corruption was discovered, in a sense, ‘accidentally’ is worrying to the extent that it reinforces suspicions that the cases we know about may be the tip of a large iceberg. Both FIFA and UEFA have initiated awareness-raising sessions during their age-group competitions.

A number of other football cases are cited in IRIS (2012) and some are mentioned below in a discussion of how match fixes are implemented. Combined with the taxes extracted by the state and by sport itself, (11) the effect is to hold down the pay-out rate in France to 79%, well below the international norm. Where there is still ground for suspicion, an alert is issued to UEFA or to the national federation responsible for the match. It needs practical support from legislators and from the judicial system. The increase in the size of the global betting market, the lower bookmaker commissions to be deducted from the criminals’ expected profit, and the technical ability of criminals to access the high-volume Asian market all follow from the changes wrought by the Internet on the betting environment. At that very last stage, the money bet becomes ‘legal’ since the operators are licensed, albeit by jurisdictions with somewhat weak regulatory requirements, such as the special economic zone of Cagayan in the Philippines.

Organized crime may also be in the market for purchasing information that a match will be fixed by someone else. Had FK Pobeda progressed to the next round, it would almost certainly have been knocked out because clubs from stronger countries join the competition at that point; and its profit from the one extra round would have been a fraction of 300,000 [euro]. Industry statistics 2009/10. It appears unlikely that he would have been aware of the long-run involvement in crime that would follow from his first acceptance of a bribe. As with other illegal activities, possible measures include those that disrupt the illicit trade and those which deter participation in it.

In this review, the next section documents the recent known history of fixing in European football, then outlines what the various cases show about the modus operandi of those who seek to manipulate what happens on the field. In fact, perhaps the two most prominent known instances of fixing sport for betting gain in the last 10 years–the Bochum conspiracy and the referee corruption scandal in the National Basketball Association, which resulted in a prison sentence in 2007–both came to light during police investigations of other activities of organized crime (prostitution rings in the Bochum case). This is possible because the bulk of trading, thanks to the Internet, now takes place during a match. The fixers can make money from betting even if he is successful in engineering the desired result only much of the time: with a referee in their pay, they possess knowledge about an influence on each match that is not reflected in the odds. (13) This monitoring system triggers alerts that will likely be investigated with different degrees of thoroughness in different member federations. First, customers at the very start of the period were still prohibited from betting on single matches; only combination bets on three or more were available, thereby putting an obstacle in the way of would-be match fixers but also permitting bookmakers to earn multiple commissions (such restrictions disappeared because new, Internet competitors did not impose them). By contrast, three members of the Pakistan national team were jailed in 2011 after being paid by journalists posing as fixers to bowl no balls at pre-determined points in the play. He had corrupted nine players, seven of them Zambian. The offer to participate in a fix is accepted if the bribe exceeds the expected cost.

(11) Roughly 1% of the stake is payable to the sport governing body in recognition of its property right over the event.

In football, the English Premier League (EPL) attracts substantial betting interest. Therefore, understanding the threat to sport is most appropriately furthered by analyzing it as a financial crime, where knowledge of how the relevant financial markets operate is a prerequisite to informed debate on how best to tackle the issue in terms of policy.

At the football-wide level, policy to date has focused on player education (to reduce the willingness to accept bribes) and intelligence gathering, including monitoring of betting markets (to deter players by making it more likely that they will be caught). Over the course of the year, two tennis players on the World Tour received life bans; in October 2011, an Australian rugby league player was sentenced for having deliberately conceded a penalty; in February 2012, an English cricketer was jailed for having accepted 6,000 [pounds sterling] for bowling badly in a minor domestic match (which was nevertheless televised in India, with heavy betting activity on Asian markets). Second, in the new competitive environment, bettors could ‘shop around’ for best odds on the Internet for the particular wager they wished to make, rather than rely on a local retailer. Referees are vulnerable to being corrupted because they tend to be relatively low paid, yet can have a strong influence on match outcome and total goals. This is particularly true for betting for two reasons.

(10) This principle followed from the precedent set by the state of Victoria in Australia. Erosions of margins in Europe will have contributed disproportionately to the quoted global figures because they began the period much higher than in Asia.

The ingenuity of criminal interests targeting football is illustrated by a further development–criminals putting on matches themselves. Sports betting: Legal, commercial and integrity issues. The list of possibilities would be long, but all would involve cost to the sport and would therefore be easier to introduce in well-resourced premier leagues rather than in the lower tiers of competition where most fixing appears to be taking place.

First, empirical studies of betting markets over a long period have indicated that they are characterized by high elasticity of demand (i.e., the number of units of money bet typically responds more than proportionately relative to any variation in the price of a bet, where price is defined by the expected loss on a one unit stake). Given such possibilities, the sport’s duty of care to young players at least seems to justify systematic programs to raise awareness of young players concerning the ways in which they might be approached and possible consequences of involvement. The United Kingdom is a relatively open market in that residents have the right to place bets with extra-territorial suppliers. An English player imprisoned in 2012 had been paid to concede runs in the first over of a match. It funds this to the extent of some 1m [euro] per year.

It is the lack of effective regulation in a very substantial market that has made Asian betting a real threat to European football and other sports. (2010). All seven goals in the two matches were from penalties. In fact, the revolution in the betting landscape proves to have conformed closely to these general economic predictions concerning the impact of e-commerce.

Forrest, D., McHale, I., McAuley, K. His paymasters were Croatian criminals. The promoter had appointed the six members of the referee teams from Hungary and Bosnia. They gained consumer surplus because they purchased more units at a lower price. college basketball and he claimed that about 1% of U.S. But even the most rigorous face difficulty in proving a fix to the degree of proof required by a court. European basketball and handball are among other sectors where the governing bodies have had to instigate inquiries into corruption or attempted corruption of players.

As noted above, betting-related corruption is by no means new to sport. It could seek to reduce the ability of referees to influence match outcome by allowing instant reviews of controversial decisions (in cricket this has considerably reduced the utility of umpires to criminal interests). Regulation in terms of requiring licensed betting operators to monitor transactions for suspicious patterns of activity and to report them to both the regulator and the relevant sports governing body is therefore still worthwhile and embedded in, for example, British legislation passed in 2005. Other European countries are considering enacting similar legislation.

(iv) In May 2011, revelations surfaced in Italy regarding fixing of domestic matches, mainly in the lower divisions. For example, the international governing bodies in football have followed cricket and tennis in setting up credible anti-corruption units staffed by former policemen; but clearly, there are limits to their powers to investigate organized crime; and their powers to impose sanctions within their sport may also be insufficient to deter players and referees from agreeing to fixes. Further, major local betting operators will also experience ripples from unusual betting activity originating in the rest of the world. Relatively low sensitivity may be an intrinsic problem because even large bets in a very liquid market may not induce strong odds movements.

(9) They have, in fact, also entered the European market. In football, the highest volume betting markets are on the result of the match and on the total number of goals scored. Both sorts of restriction are already embedded in French regulation.

The first effect of e-commerce in the economy, particularly in the case of services, was therefore to reduce prices and it would be expected, as a consequence, that consumption of the products affected would have increased, the extent of that increase depending on just how price sensitive consumers proved to be. However, the views expressed are his and should not be interpreted as endorsed by IRIS.

In addition to reliance on the public authorities, football must also help itself. It is the level of liquidity in the betting market relative to the level of wages paid to players that makes lower-tier competitions in Europe so evidently open to corruption. But there is an important difference from the American case. Despite the emergence of the new competition, the participation rate in sports betting with land bookmakers tripled between 1999 and 2010, according to the British Gambling Prevalence Survey, 2010 (Wardle et al., 2011).

Monitoring of betting activity appears to be a useful plank of anti-corruption policy even though the information it can gather is limited; in the dominant Asian market, it can observe only price movements (whereas European surveillance has traditionally depended on observing quantity of transactions). Often such crime could be termed ‘petty;’ but recent cases involving organized crime have involved extensive corruption of the sport and very large sums of money. What explains these developments?

The degree of liquidity reaches its zenith for the most important events. Their motive is simply to make money by using specialized insider information (advance knowledge of how events on the field will unfold) to make gains on specialized financial (sports betting) markets. The issue of corruption to achieve sporting goals is beyond the scope of the present paper but it may be noted that clubs that act illegally in this way may seek to fund their bribes from parallel activity on betting markets.

Increased volume of e-sports betting over time, as the market developed in response to new availability and value, proves to be exactly what has occurred. (2005). H2 Gambling Capital estimates, quoted by RGA (2010), suggest an increase in the size of the global e-betting market from stakes of 16.4b [euro] in 2004 to 32.6b [euro] in 2008, with projection to 50.7b [euro] by 2012. But, largely, lobbying for restrictions is based on a false premise that restrictions on betting within any individual European country, or even within the whole European Economic Area, can address anything other than petty crime (such as sportsmen betting on their own account with local bookmakers). (2012). (2003). However, some local crime related to manipulation of sport is likely to be present, as it always has been in the past. In the majority of the cases of known fixing outlined above, the corrupt bets have been placed with Asian operators regardless of the geographical location of the criminal interests and regardless of where the sports event takes place.

The probability of being caught is an obvious factor if a player is evaluating an offer for a fix. Working paper, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

IRIS. This enabled them to bring in new players whom they selected because they were known to be corruptible. The conditions in Internet betting appear to be not far from those of perfect competition. As in any asset market, a profit can be made from a combination of trades either side of a movement in odds about which a trader has advance exclusive knowledge: for example, knowledge that a red card is to be issued after about 20 minutes play is valuable in the betting market in much the same way as advance knowledge of a profit warning is in the stock market since, just as in the stock market, a trader can lock into profit by buy and sell trades appropriately timed to be at different prices. Odds move throughout in predictable directions and by predictable amounts in response to incidents such as goals and red cards. In many jurisdictions in Europe, betting has traditionally been offered by a state-owned or state-sanctioned monopoly and there was therefore great scope for prices to fall as residents gained access to extra-territorial supply. Suspicious betting activity combined with events on the field may be convincing but can still be argued by defense lawyers to be circumstantial. When it becomes tainted by the suspicion that events on the field may not be ‘real’ but rather ‘arranged’ for private gain, some of the magic must surely be lost. Again, the innovation clearly generated additional value for the economy.

Football, along with other sports, also seeks to protect itself by lobbying legislators and regulators to restrict betting activity. Plainly, this reduces the extent to which regulation in Europe itself can make a difference to the amount of corruption in European sport.

So how widespread is fixing of football matches? Forensic statistics may have the potential to yield an informed estimate. The author was a member of the research team and benefited especially from discussions with Sarah Lacarriere and Pim Vershuuren. This appears to be a dangerous development from the perspective of sport because liquidity may be termed the friend of the fixer. Over a run of matches, this will permit a profit to be made.

Strumpf, K. This makes large-scale fraud more feasible and the erosion of bookmaker margins makes it more profitable.

(iii) In 2011, a Singapore national received a prison sentence from a Finnish court for fixing league matches in Finland. Similar patterns of events can be observed in the leagues of Malaysia, Singapore, and Albania (IRIS, 2012). Thus, there is an onus on civil authorities to play a role in defending sports integrity against criminals. This has, to date, been achieved in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

(1) However, Buraimo et al. FIFA has since given life suspensions to the six referees and the promoter is currently ‘wanted’ by the police.

The major Asian operators no doubt have risk management processes in place and indeed have withdrawn from accepting bets on some competitions, such as the Russian second division, where they believe corruption is endemic. Thus, consumers captured most of the value created in the economy by e-commerce.


What is clear is that e-commerce has considerably increased demand for sports betting and made betting markets more liquid. Moreover, the extent to which the market has been globalized gives substantial scope for risks to be hedged to operators in other parts of the world.

Economic analysis of fixing sports events has focused on the decision of the individual sportsman (or referee) whether or not to accept a bribe (Forrest Simmons, 2003; Forrest et al., 2008b). (2004). First, it is disproportionately large and provides the level of liquidity in the global market that allows organized crime to place large bets to make large sums of money and pay large bribes. He had had a previous conviction for fixing matches in the Singapore League and was also implicated in fixing an international match in 2009 by making payments to the Zimbabwe team.

Other agents fixers may use coaches (who can choose a weak team), medical staff (who can slow players down with incorrectly dosed injections) and even, as noted above, stadium technicians (who can turn the lights off). The bets were won when Latvia beat Bolivia 2-1 and Bulgaria and Estonia drew 2-2. The set of odds on a match implicitly sets the price of betting, and it is obvious from the data that this is much below what it was before the Internet impacted the industry.

First, price has certainly fallen. Expected loss per unit stake therefore nearly halved.

Gambling Commission. (No doubt an additional contribution to this rapid rate of increase was that the market was developed at just the time when income growth in Asia, an area with strong interest in sports betting, reached historically high levels.)

But for those who instigate the crime, the motive is not, of course, to inflict damage on our culture for the sake of it. (2012). The paper draws and reflects on material from an investigation by researchers from l’Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques (IRIS), Paris. Further, it has integrated formerly regionalized markets since the technology of the Internet permits bettors to place bets in any part of the world and operators to hedge by laying off rapidly to operators based in other jurisdictions (this improves their ability to manage risk and permits them to accept larger bets). These general problems are likely to lead to more manipulation of matches, and reform would represent an important step toward limiting the activities of fixers.

Things actually improved for the bettor even more than these raw figures suggest. As such, this is an industry where the general predictions noted above should apply strongly. But recently, criminal elements have gone further by acquiring clubs specifically to use them as vehicles for match fixing. For instance, American college sport has generated an exceptionally large number of cases ending in prosecution and it indeed appears to meet all the criteria for high risk: the players receive no income from playing, the fact that bets are on the margin of victory rather than simply who wins implies that a successful fix need not require losing the match, and detection is unlikely given that strong teams may ease up for other reasons than not wanting to win by as much as the handicap announced by the bookmaker suggests that they should.

Another prediction from the general model of e-commerce was that the technology would facilitate the emergence of new products and new modes of market. This scandal has become known as ‘Scommessopoli.’ Newspapers pointed to Mafia links on the part of former footballers who had paid individual players 400,000, [euro] 120,000, [euro] and 50,000 [euro] for arranging the outcomes of fixtures in the first, second, and third divisions, respectively. The Bochum trial revealed the case of the Belgian second division club, UR Namur, where the criminals invested in a club facing financial crisis and installed their own ‘management company’ as part of the agreement. Ironically, corruption in Asia has induced a switch to Asians betting on European leagues. The size of this threat is unknown, and to date there has been no econometric evaluation of how demand responds when betting scandals become public. Football in some countries has invested significantly in internal investigatory machinery, and UEFA funds surveillance of betting markets by Sportradar. Accordingly, it occupies a special place in our culture and in our affections. Next, the apparent growth in fixing is linked to how gambling markets have developed since the millennium and the emergence of Internet and mobile telephone betting. The information that FK Pobeda would lose was sold to criminals for 300,000 [euro] and very exceptional sums were subsequently observed to be staked in Asia on the Armenians winning. Sports betting and corruption: How to preserve the integrity of sport. In many countries, it is not transparent who owns and controls clubs and whether they are ‘fit and proper persons.’ Further, in many leagues, clubs are financially insecure to the point that payment of player wages is delayed or fails to take place at all. To illustrate changes in the implicit price of betting services in this high-profile market, I examined individual match closing-odds data from a major UK bookmaker, Ladbrokes, as archived on For this reason alone, match fixing should be regarded from one point of view as a cultural crime, where there is a societal stake in first understanding it and then resisting it.

The four major operators are much larger than betting firms in Europe (9) and receive wagers which have been aggregated by agents, as the illegal money from the bottom of the Asian betting pyramid is channeled upwards. Birmingham: Gambling Commission.

The narrative above is presented to illustrate why football administrators and international police organizations believe that the incidence of match fixing has grown substantially since the millennium and is now an outlet for the activity of international organized crime. Services such as stockbroking, travel planning, and the selling of insurance were indeed among the earliest sectors to experience falls in real prices and the closure of some bricks-and-mortar operations that were unable to improve efficiency to compete in the new environment.

(4) Another example of fortuitous discovery of a football fix is related to the Italian match between Poganese and Cremonese in November 2010. When a criminal organized a friendly match between Bahrain and Togo in 2010, the fraud employed was even bolder. (2012) provide analysis to show sharp falls in attendance at Italian clubs exposed as having fixed matches to improve their league positions. But the sheer number of incidents that have come to light recently is striking and so also is the high proportion of cases where organized crime has been implicated. For each match, Asian betting markets accepted millions of Euros of stakes that total goals would be three or more. Ownership opens up several avenues to ensuring the results of matches since corrupt personnel can be recruited and existing players intimidated, for example by arguments that payment of their wages requires raising funds on the betting market. Issues of governance and ownership also stand in need of address.

The greater size of the overall market has allowed bookmakers to offer many more subjects for betting, and for most football matches they will normally accept bets on more than 30 features of a match, apart from the result (for example, number of red cards, number of corners, identity of first scorer, and so on). (2011). Specificities of the betting sector reinforce these expectations. (6)

The Economics of Corruption

Forrest, D., McHale, I., McAuuley, K. Many consumers will have no reason to prefer retail outlets over Internet suppliers: in most countries there are therefore likely to be sufficient footloose customers to force land-based retailers to match prices offered by the online sector, and competition will also be intense within the latter, given that bettors can use price comparison websites to check odds available at suppliers based all around the world. Illegal sports bookmakers. The equivalent of e-Bay in betting is Betfair, an exchange that brings together those who would offer or take a bet that a named outcome will occur. On the other hand, liquidity in most such markets is limited and it appears unlikely that bookmakers would readily accept bets of a size which would make them of interest to organized crime.

Faced with the apparently growing threat, what can football do? On its own, what it can do is limited. But H2 Gambling Capital attempts estimates across all countries and these are employed for analysis by, for example, European Commission (2011) and Remote Gambling Association (RGA) (2010). The club chairman instructed his players to lose a Champions League first qualifying round tie against an Armenian club that was the underdog. London: Central Council for Physical Recreation.

Product Innovation

Asian betting is at the heart of the problem of integrity for two reasons. But this does not appear to be the case in Asia where street bookmakers’ revenue is typically passed upwards through a series of agents, to be placed ultimately with one of four supra-national operators (IRIS, 2012). Say it ain’t so: Betting related malpractice in sport. But the extra liquidity in markets on European matches then puts them at greater risk from fixing.

Eadington, W. The individual is represented as comparing the value of the bribe with the expected cost of participation, which in turn depends on the probability of detection, the penalty (including lost earnings from a ban) if detected, and the loss of sporting glory and prize money from under-performance. R. Thus, in a report for the European Commission, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (2006) presented a survey of evidence in 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 14 of them evaluated demand as ‘elastic,’ mostly strongly so. This would not have shifted result odds by very much and so the fix probably related to the session runs market where a high score in the first over would raise markedly the number of runs forecast for the two-hour session. Further, it facilitated trade in very niche products (such as specific rare books), where it would previously have been prohibitively costly for the market to bring together (perhaps very geographically scattered) willing buyers and willing sellers. The authors adopting this framework argue that it is validated by the pattern of known cases in the history of sport. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 23(2), 214-219.

(8) In cricket, the corresponding core markets are on the result of the match and on the number of runs to be scored in the current session. (5) This implies that betting-related manipulation may affect about 300 European matches each season.

A further source of growth in volume is that consumers in many national markets will previously have been deterred because sports betting was locally available only through illegal operators. The bettor who placed each of his bets at the best odds quoted on the website I used (which lists only highly reputable international betting brands) would have lost only 0.7% of his stakes over the final season (i.e., not far from break-even). The future of online gambling in the United States and elsewhere. (4)


RGA. An inquiry found that he had been in the pay of criminals since very early in his career when he had accepted a payment in return for a highly inconsequential action in a relatively minor match. Thus, much of the world market is accounted for by effectively unregulated betting with a structure where self-regulation is also necessarily weak. Further, the reservation price of sportsmen faced with a bribe may be low since they are not required overtly to lose the match for their team. Of course, a referee is a better investment for a gang when his services are procured over the long term. One of the Cremonese team was involved in a road accident after the game and hospital blood tests discovered the presence of a sedative. (2001). Second, the way in which it is structured makes the large bets particularly easy to place and with no traceability of wagers on events suspected subsequently of having been fixed.


Sport possesses a magic. This was an additional factor in disciplining retail prices. Of course, the problem is not exclusive to football. Then, in 1997, two games were abandoned when the floodlights failed and it emerged that technicians had been bribed by an Asian betting syndicate. But in the longer term, if the belief that corruption is endemic gains credibility, the sport itself may be liable to be a heavy loser: all its important revenue streams are threatened since a competition that is perceived to be a charade may be shunned by attendees at the stadium, by broadcasters, and by sponsors. (2003). Given the contemporary betting environment, it would then not be surprising if ownership of clubs were not used to facilitate match fixing for betting gain, as the Bochum case illustrated in the case of UR Namur. Twentyfour percent reported that they were aware of fixes that had taken place in their league and 12% that they personally had been approached to participate. Control of the football federation itself, as seems to have occurred in the Chinese League, would also be useful for criminals through an ability to access club chairmen and to discourage serious investigation of fixing issues.

The emergence and popularisation of the Internet as a medium of commerce since the late 1990s has transformed the size and nature of the betting industry. Further, young sportsmen may be innocent of the process of ‘grooming,’ by which a single decision taken now may tie them to long-term involvement in crime. Lausanne: Swiss Institute of Comparative Law.

(12) In practice, there is likely to be room for debate about how unusual or how suspicious patterns have to be to trigger a report.

The history of football (as of other sports including baseball, boxing, and cricket) is scattered with cases of proven or alleged match fixing. There is no physical product. On the other hand, liquidity is so high that suspicious large bets could still be absorbed, even if they could be identified, without threatening the financial stability of the firm. This trade is based on gangs having specialist expertise in the practicalities of placing large sums of corrupt money into betting markets with-out attracting suspicion. On the face of it, these markets are dangerous because some of the subjects of bets are easier for one or a small number of individuals to manipulate (compared to manufacturing the result). The defense from Betfair is that all bets on the exchange are traceable in the event of suspicious activity and that Betfair itself has uncovered and reported several cases of alleged fixing through automated monitoring of all its markets.

In still other matches, the Bochum gang targeted referees. These three cases already illustrate the international dimension of the crime and the ability of fixers to identify agents with the influence to arrange results.

A cursory Internet search will reveal other cases from football in the past but show also that there is no precedent for the number of cases that have become public in a short space of time over the last few years. Thus they require that a proportion of the risk is born by the agent. 12-13).

(ii) During 2011, legal proceedings were instituted in Belgium against a Chinese national and 30 other persons in connection with alleged fixing of 10 matches involving Saint-Trond, FC Brussels, and other clubs in 2005 and 2006. First, the new technology lowered costs of supplying goods and services, putting downward pressure on price. Large bets can be placed on European football without creating an audit trail that can be followed by investigators. It is in these markets that most money can be made by criminal gangs and the most obvious way of increasing the probability that they will do so is to bribe players, especially goalkeepers and defenders, to concede goals unnecessarily. The team advertised as Togo was in fact merely a group of amateur players recruited for the purpose. Betting at these orders of magnitude is plainly capable of generating profits that would enable criminals to make offers that are very high relative to the levels of players’ wages in these tiers of competition. It is important to ask why there may have been an increase in the demand for fixes and why organized crime appears to have been drawn as a new entrant on the demand side of the market for fixes.

The answers to these questions lie in the changes in the betting market that have occurred over the last decade. High liquidity permits criminals to place large bets without attracting undue attention and without driving prices against themselves. As in the U.S. This can allow any bet limits imposed by an operator to be more easily evaded. That some popular bet types are prohibited and that odds offered are hugely uncompetitive relative to world prices presumably explains why the new legal market in France has thus far succeeded in attracting only a fraction of sports betting originating in France (25% according to MAG, 2011). Additional games appear also to have been targeted since 13 players reported approaches (which they had rejected), where bribes offered for underperformance had been up to 300,000 [euro].

Fragile finances not only make football clubs more vulnerable to takeover by the criminal world but also make individual players more vulnerable to being used in a fix by outside agents or by the club management itself. The lesson from this incident is that clubs themselves may have an incentive to organize a fix, and the danger is, of course, heightened because so many clubs in Europe are in a financially precarious position where an injection of funds from malpractice may be very tempting.

Wardle, H., Moody, A., Spence, S., Orford, J., Volberg, R., Jotangia, D., Griffiths, M., Hussey, D., Dobbie, F. London: The Stationery Office.

A weak system of governance makes football vulnerable to infiltration by organized crime. Such programs have been mandated on football and other sports by the United Kingdom government, and SportAccord has developed an e-learning program for use by young footballers across Europe. Rome: MAG Consulenti Associati.

University of Salford, UK

As with earlier breakthroughs in transport or communications technology, such as the birth of the railways or the telephone, the most obvious general economic impact of the Internet was to lower prices for consumers. The gang then coerced him into corrupting more and more important matches by threatening exposure of earlier fixes, and it culminated in fixing at the peak of his career and at the very highest level of the sport. The concern appears justified. (3) After the millennium, German soccer was shaken by the Hoyzer affair, where the referee had manipulated several fixtures by awarding debatable penalties and red cards. Reliable and consistent data on the global market are hard to obtain because much activity is illegal and much is channelled through jurisdictions with weak reporting requirements imposed on operators (Eadington, 2004). But the profit from doing so is likely to be taken not in the subsidiary proposition markets, which lack liquidity, but in the core and highly liquid markets on the final result and on the total numbers of goals. International Journal of Sport Finance, 3(3), 156-166.

Person-to-person betting is a further innovation of the online era. Raising standards of governance and financial management are therefore not only important for the general health of football in Europe but also necessary adjuncts to any campaign against corruption of events on the field.

The betting market in Asia in particular appears to play a central role in the way fixing has evolved to become a threat to football and other sports. This has hampered police investigations in, for example, France, and it would be progress if the specific offense of corrupting sport were to be included in penal codes. This was an entirely new variation on the traditional product.

The Policy Response

The Case of Sports Betting

The credibility of fears that fixing is as widespread as this was raised by the results of a survey in early 2012 by FIFPro, the federation of national players’ unions. Presumably, they played unusually well since they lost by only 3-0 to the genuine Bahrain national team! The fraud was revealed only later when officials of the Togo football federation were surprised to read the result of a match supposedly involving their team. Based on interviews with players, IRIS (2012) notes that triggering a penalty or having oneself sent off is risky because it is too obvious; but more routine defensive errors are easy to commit, with a good chance of a goal opportunity being successfully taken by the opposing team and a low chance of this attracting suspicion. If effective, this would moderate the flow of offers made by fixers to sports players and officials. They now have licenses in the Isle of Man, from where, of course, their European business is conducted under an effective regulatory regime.

An emphasis on education in combating illegal or undesirable activities has often proven misplaced as, for example, in public policy to depress the market for recreational drugs. As in the U.S., bets with illegal bookmakers are typically made by telephone and on credit, with settlements two or three days later. It could disrupt criminals by allocating which referees were to officiate at a match only at the last minute (this strategy, pioneered by the National Basketball Association, would deprive criminals of the time needed to organize the placing of their illicit bets). Three hundred-twenty matches in 10 European countries were identified as having been rigged including 74 in Turkey, 53 in Germany, 35 in Switzerland, and 33 club or country internationals (one of which was a World Cup qualifier). The immediate victims of fixers are the other bettors/ bookmakers from whom money has been defrauded on the betting market. An inquiry established that the goalkeeper had spiked his teammates’ drinks to make them underperform.

In addition to these direct measures, the defense of football against fixing is also related to weaknesses in sports governance that blight the European game. They are therefore accustomed to receiving very large bets from agents that may have come from many small bettors but may, on occasion, contain a large bet from a criminal syndicate.

(i) In April and May 2011, the “Bochum trial” in Germany resulted in the sentencing of nine defendants, linked to organized crime in the Balkans, who were found to have engaged in fixing on an industrial scale. In relatively recent history, two cases emerged in England during the 1990s. Improved value, naturally, would be expected to increase volume. It is unlikely a real fixer would have offered the large sums concerned because bookmakers would not accept big bets on whether a particular ball would be a no ball, and no balls are too inconsequential to shift odds in the core markets on result and session runs.

David Forrest, PhD, is a professor of economics in the Salford Business School. Police sources indicate that organized crime has indeed been extending its portfolio of illicit activities to take in sport. (7) However, of more concern in the context of the integrity issue is the smaller but still substantial volumes of trading in markets on matches in much lower-status competition. In the Bochum trial, the list of bets placed by the accused included a 36,000 [euro] wager on the outcome of a fourth division fixture in Turkey. The bookmaker win fell from 10% in 2004 to 9% in 2008 and was projected to fall further, to 8% in 2012. The largest operators are reputable in terms of probity, but they fail one of the most important requirements of European regulation: ‘know your customer.’ The illegality of retail betting in most of Asia leads to institutional arrangements that effectively anonymize bets. However, the ability of participants to ‘lay’ (i.e., play the role of a bookmaker without possessing a bookmaker license) is perceived by some critics as raising integrity risk. college basketball games over 16 seasons had been subject to betting-related manipulation. Divided across the principal pan-Asian operators, it was suggested that 200,000-300,000 [euro] could be bet. There was another round of allegations and arrests in December. For example, individuals may already be aware of the harm drugs can do and in this case providing information will not change their assessment that the potential pleasures outweigh the risks. (2008a), Risks to the integrity of sport from betting vorrup tion. The payment had to be shared if the corrupt player felt it necessary to recruit teammates to ensure the desired result in the targeted game. On the basis of its experience, Sportradar estimates that 1% of European matches are fixed. British gambling prevalence survey 2010. It could lower the temptation of referees to accept bribes by paying them good, full-time salaries (as has been implemented in the EPL). The case for doing so is reinforced by consideration that an increase in incidence might have been predicted–and indeed was (Forrest, McHale, McAuley, 2008a)–from developments in betting markets over the last decade.

Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. Point shaving: Corruption in NCAA basketball. This effect was through two channels. Despite this, monitoring has gained increasing credibility in terms of an alert being acknowledged as a strong pointer to a fix (i.e., specificity is believed to be high); thus, evidence from the CEO of Sportradar was admitted at the Bochum trial. Together, it is plausible that they will have raised the demand for fixes and the quantity of fixes carried out.

The Economic Impact of E-commerce: General Considerations

While having predictive power in terms of where corruption is most likely to occur, the approach may be too restrictive for it to account for the time series of fixing if it does not focus on the demand for fixes (from criminals who place bets) as well as the supply of fixes (from unscrupulous sportsmen who will fix if the payment is high enough). Economics and electronic commerce. The impact should therefore have been greatest where there was no physical good at all (Borenstein Saloner, 2001). On the other hand, the volume of proven cases in the past year (this paper was written in March 2012) is so suggestive as, arguably, to constitute sufficient grounds for policy formulation to proceed as if this were a known fact. However, the way in which it has been transformed is not unique, but rather follows a similar pattern to that observed in other sectors. A detailed report (IRIS, 2012) was published following a year of gathering evidence from sportsmen, regulators, and stakeholders in many countries. The perpetrator had fled but has subsequently been imprisoned for fixing games in Finland. Study of gambling services in the internal market of the European Union. The once-popular Chinese League looks close to non-viability since multiple arrests, including of officials at the highest level of the governing body, for extensive match fixing. But it is already a sorry litany of incidents. Bearing in mind that the emergence of the e-sector was likely already to have eroded bookmaker margins before 2004, bettors worldwide have clearly enjoyed much better value-for-money since the emergence of e-betting. The disgraced German referee, Robert Hoyzer, was in the pay of a gang and his exposure followed a match in which he had ensured Paderborn’s win over Hamburg only by awarding two penalties and a red card, all decisions so outrageous that an inquiry was quickly ordered. Another restriction was a maximum limit placed on the proportion of stakes that could be returned to bettors as winnings. London: Remote Gambling Association.

But the technology of the Internet did not just enable consumers to benefit from purchasing existing products at a cheaper price. However, this feature of the commission system for remunerating agents is likely to be negated by the positive incentive for agents to accept bets from suspected fixers: if they have a relationship with fixers, they themselves can benefit by betting on their own account after observing on which outcome the fixers’ money is being placed.


Suppose, in season 2000-2001, the bettor had wagered on all three outcomes, home win, draw, and away win, in each of the 380 matches in the EPL. On the other hand, sensitivity appears to be low (i.e., there appear to be many false negatives–only six of nearly 200 matches covered by monitoring and identified as fixed according to the Bochum trial had triggered alerts). The FIFPro survey of players in Eastern and Southern Europe found a clear correlation between players who reported having been approached to participate in a fix and those who reported non-payment of salaries. Nevertheless, referees had been used in several games that featured in the Bochum trial and two referees were given life suspensions as a result. The international dimension of many of the conspiracies points to a need for international cooperation in policing, and FIFA has allocated funds to encourage Interpol to have a dedicated unit to combat sports corruption. The argument below is that bribes available to sportsmen have increased because a new betting environment permits larger gains than in the past to be made by criminals who fix sports events.. However, apart from the impracticality of prohibition in a global market, it should be borne in mind that the popularity of live betting reflects the preferences of consumers who presumably find it rewarding to consume a live game by television or Internet and bet on it as a complementary activity that adds to excitement and interest.

Betting in Asia

Swiss Institute of Comparative Law. Probably, though, gangs prefer to rely on players since the actions that referees can take to exert a large and predictable impact on the probability of a given result or on total goals scored are somewhat dramatic decisions that may themselves draw suspicion if matched with unusual activity in betting markets. In football, China is the leading source of bets and in cricket it is Indian money that dominates.

The remarkable surge in the popularity of online betting does not appear by any means to have been always at the expense of the volume of business transacted by traditional bookmakers. This appears unlikely to change. In other places, for example, most of America and Asia, sports betting has been or is prohibited and some entirely new consumers will be added to the global market as the latent demand finds a channel through which to be expressed. The extent to which the market is now globalized is evident in football, where odds movements in Asia tend to be mirrored in Europe within one minute (Asia is the leader and Europe the follower, consistent with the fact that Asian markets are larger, even for matches taking place in Europe).

The principal impacts of e-commerce in the economy and especially on services were therefore: (i) to drive down prices, (ii) to increase consumption, (iii) to stimulate product innovation, and (iv) to promote new modes of trading, such as person-to-person selling.

A successfully executed fraud is not observed and, therefore, we do not have any time series of incidents that would permit us to declare from formal analysis that this is a crime on the increase. If bookmaker margins fall across the board, given more competitive conditions, bricks-and-mortar customers will respond as well. It questioned some 3,000 players in 12 countries in Eastern and Southern Europe