Match-Fixing and MLS

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by KensingtonSC, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. KensingtonSC

    KensingtonSC <3 TE AMO CUBO <3

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21319807

    Lot of stuff in this article regarding worldwide match-fixing, including UEFA Champions League games, European Championship and World Cup qualifiers, and top flight games in leagues like the Bundesliga. Just recently, the Canadian Soccer League was found to have a match-fixing problem. Match-fixing is a major problem within soccer, and it's not going away. The worst part is that it's not being fixed so teams can win and place top of the table. It's being fixed by gamblers so they can wager on the games to turn a profit. The beautiful game is being turned into glorified jai alai.

    MLS, to me, seems like the last legit league on the planet. With matches being fixed all over the globe, you never hear about the involvement of MLS or the US in match-fixing. I fear, though, that won't last forever. Match-fixing for gambling purposes is touching every league on the planet, and it's a LOT easier to go after guys who don't make that much money. One thing that I think may help MLS though is that players don't go without a paycheck. Even in top flight leagues like Italy's Serie A, players sometimes don't get paid or don't get paid on time. Matches involving bottom of the table teams are ripe for fixing, and have been for the last few years. Serie B and the Italian lower leagues are basically breeding grounds for fixing because wages are low, players often miss paychecks, and no one really watches the games, so it's incredibly easy to fix.

    I fear for MLS in this regard because MLS is my last bastion of hope for uncorrupted professional soccer. I know that everyone likes to rag on AEG and multiple ownership and things like that, but this league has never been suspected of fixing matches for the purposes of gambling. So my questions are these:

    If an MLS match is implicated for fixing, how would that change your view of the league overall? Would you still follow it in the same way? What if it was your team that was implicated? Would that affect your love for the club? Would it affect whether you went to games or purchased merchandise? Would a match-fixing scandal within MLS damage MLS in such a way that it is viewed differently by the non-soccer-viewing public? Would a match-fixing scandal within MLS destroy the league as a whole? While we've had point shaving scandals in basketball, and the potential corruption of the NBA, that sport is rooted in America, much like soccer is in places like Italy where match-fixing won't kill the sport. Could that happen in America?

    I have lost faith in all other leagues to be on the up and up. I still love Serie A, and watch it constantly, but I also know that it's not honest or real, and that it's akin to watching horse racing. I've seen Serie A matches this year that I believe were fixed, and have even reported the matches to the FIGC (Italian Football Federation), but, as always, nothing will ever be done. I don't want this problem to ever enter MLS. If it does, it will dramatically change the way I watch the league, consume it, and I fear that the league as whole could be damaged permanently.


  2. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    You don't hear of MLS as an exception, either. And there is some evidence that the fixers have their fingers in MLS, at least. Declan Hill claims to have spoken to MLS players who've seen their teammates feed confidential match information to Asian gambling syndicates.

    Which means that the Asian gambling syndicates are aware of, and betting on, MLS games. Which means, realistically, that they are trying to fix MLS games.

    MLS is a pretty good candidate for fixing. Player salaries are relatively low, and worldwide interest is relatively low, but every game is still on television. And there are players in MLS from all over the world--including from leagues where match fixing is endemic.

    Remember, the countries those 680 games were played in haven't been released yet. All we know is that it's "more than 15 countries." Odds are at least one of those countries will be one where you "never hear about" match fixing.
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  3. KensingtonSC

    KensingtonSC <3 TE AMO CUBO <3

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    Is that an actual fix, though? To me, fixing means players, coaches, or officials are paid to personally affect the outcome of the match to achieve a certain scoreline or goal. Giving confidential injury information isn't fixing. While it may be leading to it, it still isn't fixing the actual result or outcome. My concern is what you see happening all throughout the Italian system where teams are basically pawns for illegal gambling syndicates to make money.

    One of those players you speak of is Marco DiVaio. When Marco was still with Bologna, it was believed that he worked on a fix with Napoli to achieve a 2-0 scoreline because Bologna's players hadn't been paid in 2 months. He also had connections to former Bologna player, and now convicted match-fixing felon, Beppe Signore. I was fearful of him coming to MLS and introducing it because I'm sure that he still has major connections back home to fixing. Once you're in, there is no getting out.

    I'm still holding out hope that MLS is not one of those countries, but the question still stands that what if it is? What happens then?
  4. greatscott

    greatscott Member+

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    If DC United was found to be match fixing, that would be the end.
    I'm not trying to invest emotional energy into a scam.

    That being said, I think match fixing does happen in MLS, but more from the administration perspective where they will alter external factors to best suit who they want to win the match.
    I dont think there is enough money in gambling on MLS to make that a serious threat, but I could see some of the fringe players being paid to screw up


  5. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    If there was enough money in gambling on Canadian Soccer League matches, which are more or less at the NPSL level, there's enough money in MLS.
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  6. FuzzyForeigner

    FuzzyForeigner Member

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    before people start trolling MLS by saying that people to do match fixing in MLS because its shit or crap quality let me just say that typically its exactly the lesser known lower leagues that have the most match fixing. anywhere where a players salary cannot allow him to live comfortably is typically where this goes on. not all the time, but typically.

    side note, im not surprised at all, after all FIFA is an organization that sells world cups for bribes. this culture is a reflection of the organization.
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  7. NSmith22

    NSmith22 Member

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    Don't forget that betting on sports in Europe is almost universally legal. Does Vegas even accept bets on MLS games?
  8. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    If European and Asian books accept bets on MLS games (and they do), the fact that Vegas doesn't is irrelevant.
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  9. KensingtonSC

    KensingtonSC <3 TE AMO CUBO <3

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    Plus, most of the fixes are done through illegal betting houses anyway, so even if legit houses didn't take it, there would always be other means to make the wagers.
  10. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL OH...................

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    HA! I mentioned this to my one understudy here at work. Now granted, he's a young gun rights hotshot who does not take kind to Islamic fundamentalists. So he actually came to me with this story and I mentioned about the irony of this story considering that Qatar was "awarded" for a World Cup. Jury on that.......... :cautious:
  11. NSmith22

    NSmith22 Member

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    It does when the criminal syndicate is halfway across the globe and clearly this whole ring has been investigated for some time now otherwise the public wouldn't know about it yet. And from what I've read so far MLS is not on the list of offenders. I think it's harder to penetrate an American league where sports betting is pretty taboo. Of course every now and again you get guys like Pete Rose or the NBA referee coming out of the woodwork but its on a scale of once every what 10-15 years? The NFL equates pretty well to the EPL in terms of revenue and popularity in their respective countries. And you don't see fringe players in the NFL clamoring for illegal $ to affect games.
  12. FuzzyForeigner

    FuzzyForeigner Member

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    vegas would if they cared. can only do this at the Hilton sports book as far as i know. but they only accept game result bets, no off bets.
  13. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    Again: anything about this statement that applies to MLS also applies to the CSL.

    There's no evidence yet that an MLS game has been fixed. There are credible reports that MLS players have been approached to fix games, and also that some MLS players are involved with bookmakers in other ways (feeding them information).

    I certainly hope MLS is not affected, and to their credit they talk the right talk about being vigilant about match-fixing. But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, and it certainly doesn't mean it won't.

    Not when your American league has a large number of players from countries where gambling and working with bookies is common. And American or not, a referee making $500 a game is still making $500 a game.
  14. NSmith22

    NSmith22 Member

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    I definitely see and understand your reasoning. I'm just offering the flip side to the coin. I don't think attempts at match fixing or information being giving are non existant I just like to think and believe that the MLS is being vigilant and can use other American sports leagues as examples. But the wages in our league definitely don't help matters and thats the prime motive for this.
  15. KensingtonSC

    KensingtonSC <3 TE AMO CUBO <3

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    If the book "The Fix" is to be believed, the NHL has/had a fixing problem involving current Russian NHL players and the Russian mob.
  16. INKRO

    INKRO Member+

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    Honestly, is anyone surprised by this? There are clubs with shirt sponsorships from betting houses in Europe. Hell, there are entire leagues sponsored by them! One of the few things holding this sort of thing back in the US and parts of Canada is that some forms of gambling like online betting is ostensibly illegal, so they can't be as brazen about it as they are abroad, but you bet your ass that if it hasn't happened already, there will be match-fixing going on in MLS.

    If the CSL can be unsanctioned by the CSA thanks to 100 million in bets sloshing around, MLS probably has some chunk of betting money and influence running around it too. This kind of now-endemic rot starts at the very top, and I doubt FIFA can or is willing to do anything about it unless there's a major crisis of credibility stemming from this event.
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  17. esco300

    esco300 Member

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    There is match fixing in MLS cuz theres no way Toronto can get worse and worse every season ...... could they?
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  18. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a good thread because I don't believe this has ever been seriously talked about as a problem within the league on these forums.

    However, it makes me incredibly sad to know that there is a probability that match-fixing is going on in our league.

    If the league is implicated and it is on a somewhat large scale, I'm going to be very, very disappointed.
  19. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL OH...................

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    Mike and Mike in the Morning discussed this during the 7:30am segment. Not really touching on MLS but talked about the guys not making the most money could be the ones impacted by the lure for more dough. Nothing silly or in jest was made towards the sport. They did imply gloom to the sport and well any sport that match fixing was/is/might be involved
  20. John L

    John L Member+

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    Is this really a big surprise? - BWIN is a huge on-line gambling company, and how many teams do they sponsor - And there are many other gambling websites that sponsor teams as well
  21. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator Staff Member

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    So, from the BBC article, it looks like MLS won't be one of the leagues implicated in this particular investigation:

  22. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Yeah, North America (possibly including Mexico, depending on which definition they're using), the Caribbean, Australia, and Oceania were the only major areas not implicated in this investigation.
  23. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    Legal sports betting isn't the problem. In fact, legal, well-regulated sports betting makes fixing harder to do and easier to detect. Legal sports books want nothing to do with match fixing; it hurts their business. If there were no black market illegal books, match fixing would be much harder than it is.
  24. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    When will MLS get respect from illegal bookmakers? :(
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  25. troutseth

    troutseth Member+

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    I understand your point (that you have made earlier) and in general I agree. The lack of legal betting does not equate to a lack of match fixing provided someone somewhere else is betting.

    However, the culture here, including a good portion of our athletes, is one of gambling being a bit taboo and on the fringe. Compare that to a culture where everyone gambles and it is a normal part of sports in every location - I think it equates to a more difficult "sell" to actually get a conspiracy "going" here. Look in our history, we have very few examples of sports match fixing and those guys become so vilified they are remembered 100+ years later.

    #poorshoelessJoeJackson

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