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Match Fixing

In any sport can it be stopped?

 

Sadly no, how many criminals have gone to jail for crimes that have been committed by others before them. Common sense says that you should learn from others actions, but yet there will always be someone out there, who feels invincible and has the brevity to believe it will never happen to them.

 

The consequences will never stop corruption and I believe many are blissfully ignorant of their involvement in corruption.

Corruption starts with something minor, like a player casually mentioning to a friend/family member of the team selection for a game.  Sometimes, it’s a little more open -  a small stash of cash is offered to provide that information on an ongoing basis.  Or perhaps they are asked to deliberately bowl a no-ball. Once a player has taken the bait, they are part of the crime syndicate.  Therefore, good luck to the authorities in cleaning sport or any activity of any malfeasance.   

 

What stimulates a player to engage in such an act?


Greed. Money talks. Hero status within a group. Controlling your position of privilege.  Once a sportsperson has been caught in the net of corruption there is no way out, because blackmail lurks dangerously in the shadows. The money becomes less attractive, but you don’t have a choice.  You are paid to work for them.  The player no longer enjoys the spoils of cash sums, and instead lives in the consequences that may appear in the future, from the law, from their teammates, from their family/friends, from their fans, from their country, from the world spotlight.  They are defiled publicly and a loss of respect erases any good measure that stood proud and strong before it.   

 

I have strong personal values and I am bitterly disappointed to learn of any sportsperson who erodes their own values – whether it be drugs or corruption.  The majority of sportspeople can make a decent living engaging in the activity they love, so why ruin the integrity of that activity and jeopardise the future – they all have to retire sometime and most need to keep working?  Why cheat outcomes, why be less than you are – a natural athlete living their dream with the singlemindedness that got them there?

 

Though to be fair, any sportsperson is vulnerable to the unknown businessmen that inquires of your services; this is where training is required for athletes to help recognise and scrutinise offers that come forward. My rule of thumb is, if someone makes an approach with a proposal and I don't know of them or are unsure of their background, I ask around my network of people to understand their role and level of respect within the industry. If no one has heard of the person, or they come with warnings, tread cautiously.

 

How does it make others feel knowing that someone in your team or the opposing team may not performed legitimately?


I would be gutted if a situation arose in a match where someone puts the integrity of the game in jeopardy for their own benefit. I have spent my whole life training hard, coping with the ups and downs of a professional career and trying to be a good ambassador for the sport.  Why should others ruin the competition and thieve every moment of the oohs and aaahs of a tight contest?  If a player deliberately gave their wicket away to my bowling, I would never forgive them.  That single act undermines every dream I ever had, every deed I ever performed to be the best athlete I can be.  I didn’t always have success, I worked hard for it, and because of that I got to play alongside the worlds best – not cheats.  I am proud to measure myself against them and accept defeat in their hands.

 

Players are reminded every year by anti-corruption authorities that match fixing will not be tolerated, and there’s no second chances.   I believe in jail penalties, we must make bold statements and lessen the short term sparkly attractions of money with a harsh reality.  Athletes don’t cheat – ego’s do.

 

Athletes do not chase money, they chase dreams. 

 

If it’s money you want, stay at school, go to university, write an iphone app or become a surgeon or a lawyer … make yourself useful in some other gainful way and reap the rewards of those honest professions.  As with drugs (and dare I say 'throwing') - dishonour can wait a long time for the reckoning, but one way or another, it comes..

 

END.

 

END

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(c) Copyright - January 2013 - Article written by Brad Hogg.

Written permission to copy, quote, or use this article in part or whole must be sought and granted in writing from for GURUS Entertainment & Management P/L. The opinions of this blog are not those of GURUS Entertainment & Management Pty Ltd.

 

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