Discussion in 'Referee' started by msilverstein47, Feb 4, 2013.
I guess "match officials" = referees???
They sure are vague on details. I think they should get back to us when they're ready to actually name names, provide proof, and do something about it.
I'll wait on FIFA and see what "action" they take...lol
That'd be UEFA mainly as it's concerning Champions League matches.
This is pretty wild. The Hungarian example the article gave was disturbing. I wonder how an official could throw a match one way or the other in the first place at that level of play. Maybe it was during the group phases and with more obscure sides? Makes me shudder.
they did say WC qualifers were involoved...so I'm absolutely certain that the good folks at FIFA will clean it up for all of us.
Damn. I missed that.
The Hungarian example reminds me of this incident, which almost certainly is part of this wider investigation: http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=125210
I think that dismissing FIFA and/or UEFA action is short-sighted. Europol is involved, there have been domestic convictions and there are "ongoing judicial proceedings" in other countries. This is a big deal and a criminal matter. The big question is going to be whether or not any big-name referees or players are involved. If criminal prosecutions and/or convictions occur, that will make FIFA's job pretty easy insofar as discipline goes.
A secondary question will be whether or not any of these fixed results actually mattered in competition. My understanding from reading past reports like these is that these crime syndicates tend to target matches that don't have a bearing on progression or team monetary awards so as to avoid scrutiny as much as possible. But if we're talking about a UCL match in England, that seems almost unlikely (only scenario I can envisage is where an English team had a group clinched and was playing the fourth place team). Anyway, if the integrity of the competition--rather than just that of an individual match--was compromised, UEFA and/or FIFA have a problem, separate from criminal matters, on their hands.
If there's solid evidence it will be presented and they'll be prosecuted. The thing is with Referees they aren't politicians, so they don't have immunity from the law.
There already have been convictions in five or six countries, according to the article. The "news" here is that it's now all being tied to a single, wide-ranging crime syndicate (and also, of course, the shock value that UCL or WCQ matches could have been compromised).
Good I'm glad. I'm also hoping this will mean a big raise for referees in order to try and prevent bribery. Wishful thinking though.
This sort of discussion could stray far from one about refereeing and delve into the acceptance of graft and corruption in certain cultures, but, on the whole I reject the implication that only higher match fees are needed to prevent bribery.
From a moral standpoint, it's a terrible premise. Without higher match fees, succumbing to bribery is a reasonable action? That seems to be the argument.
Second, it's not like UCL referees or officials in other elite competitions are hard-up for money. Given the stakes of the competition, I'm sure an argument could be made they deserve even more than what they get now. But the fees aren't terrible. If a UCL got fixed with referee involvement--let's be clear, the article has no implicated a referee yet in any of the higher profile games--then there had to be a serious amount of money thrown his way to take that risk.
Finally, when a crime syndicate can place millions of dollars in bets on obscure games (recall, last year I think, amateur cup matches in Canada were targeted for match-fixing), higher match fees just aren't the solution. You could quadruple the fees for every amateur match in the world, but if a crime organization can put tens of thousands of dollars in a referee's pocket for his cooperation in games that no one will really notice, it's not going to make a difference. What's $300 a game when you could make 20x that for one fixed match, for example?
I think everyone would like higher match fees at all levels. But higher match fees aren't close to the answer here.
This was the point of my post
What value do you place on your integrity?
There is pretty good evidence in other fields that when salaries of critical nodes in a process are comparatively low (and they are, as even most OECD FIFA referees can't make enough money refereeing to be 100% full time refs and maintain a middle class/highly trained professional lifestyle), then graft is highly likely to occur.
I understand that. But I think there's an important distinction between a statement like "higher salaries mean less corruption" and "we should increase salaries so as to try and prevent bribery." I know it's the same result, but the former is a scientific observation, the latter makes it seem like referees are justified in being corrupt if they aren't paid enough.
I realize the line I'm trying to define here might be so fine that it doesn't actually exist, so your point is taken. It's just a visceral reaction I had to the original point.
I'd ref for free...but I really want a dirt bike. Won't you help me realize my dream?
So, Liverpool is denying any contact from Europol, but apparently news reports in England and Denmark are identifying that club's home match against Debrecen in 2009 as the Champions League match in question, with one report citing confirmation by German police that the match was subject to fixing by a Croatian crime syndidate: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/s...in-match-fixing-probe,-says-liverpool?cc=5901
That game was the opening match of the group and ended 1-0 to Liverpool.
Debrecen, perhaps notably because of some of the other reports, is a small Hungarian side that wasn't even allowed to use its home stadium in the UCL because it did not meet UEFA standards.
I find it hard to understand how a 1-0 home match for Liverpool could be fixed with only the participation of the visiting side, particularly when Liverpool was clearly the superior team. But I suppose, if this is the right match, we'll learn a lot more shortly.
There has been no indication that the officials are accused of or were involved in any malfeasance here, but since we're in the referee forum, I'll note the referee was Pedro Proenca.
Pedro is one of my favorite referees at the moment and he's a big fish. I'd be very surprised and bothered if it turns out he was on the take.
From what I've read, the Debrecen keeper was supposed to let in 3+ goals, since no one would question Liverpool bossing that game. Like you say, it's all speculation at this point, but if that is the match in question, then it would all make sense.
Don't think there's any chance of that and did not mean to insinuate so. Just a reminder that, if this game was influenced by match-fixers, it could be happening even in matches with the world's biggest and most-trusted referees.
I've since read similar reports. Apparently the single goal was very soft, with the goalkeeper only parrying an easily savable ball straight to Kuyt, who put it home. Liverpool only managed 8 shots on target, though, which I suppose would make the goalkeeper's task difficult if, indeed, the reported allegations are true.
http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsle...h/report/index.html#kuyt denies boys debrecen
"Yossi Benayoun then drew deserved plaudits with a jinking run past four white shirts and low shot that Poleksić turned behind at the near post."
This, when the score was 1-0, doesn't sound like the keeper was deliberately letting balls past him.
The report also notes that Liverpool "peppered the goal with shots" with 8 on target so he must have made other saves.
Interesting that Debrecen had a forward with one of our popular names....Coulibaly!!
I agree about the 8 shots thing, but, I'm curious as to what those other shots looked like. The goal and the one you mentioned account for two. If the other six are like that one though, I think it makes sense.
On that particular shot, the keeper didn't really do much to save it, IMO. Video here, it's about 1:10 in. http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/cl-highlights-liverpool-debrecen/127wd4ru
It was a pretty tame shot from an extreme angle that looked like its right at the keeper. (I'm going to make an assumption that the allegation is true for the rest of this comment, so the remainder is going to be more speculation). The keeper had to figure that Liverpool were capable of scoring more than one goal, especially after Gerrard had gone close so many times. Plus, the only way that shot is going in is he jumps out of the way, which might draw undue attention to him. He wants Liverpool to score, but he doesn't want it to stand out, so his only choice was to push it out for a corner, giving Liverpool another chance to score, rather than holding it and punting it up field.
Back to not making assumptions, it still blows my mind that these things happen. I know I should know better, but with reports like this, and then the case where the one spotter made up a match entirely for people to bet on, I just...it's crazy.
Vagner said the officials told him they had been invited to officiate at a youth tournament in Antalya. On arrival they were then asked to take over Bulgaria-Estonia and felt obliged to agree.
I'm sure its a little off topic, but this sentence really stands out to me. Its in the article MassRef linked to. I guess things work differently over there, but if you're going to a youth tourney, and then you suddenly get handed an international friendly? And you're corrupt? Doesn't really make sense to me...
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