Is match-fixing in the Netherlands a myth or reality?

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Dutch government is finally investigating if match-fixing might exist in the Netherlands. Last year the Finnish club Rops Rovaniemi en Ilves Tampere got sanctioned heavily. Rovaniemi, the leader of the highest Veikkausliiga drew suspiciously a series of games. The team consisted of a large number of Zambian players that somehow couldn’t score anymore. A guy behind the bench would instruct players when to come in “action”. Basketball cap on was the sign.

Coach Wilson didn’t have a clue and even thought his players payed much attention to his coaching. Poor playing at the end of a game, he blamed on the absent-minded mentality of his African players. He was wrong to do so. As a result, Asian fixer, the King of Kelon, also known as Wilson Raj Perumal was arrested. Most of the players involved will never play in a Finnish competition again. RoPs relegated.

In Bulgaria, football has found itself under the control of the mob, and lives have been risked. Chairmen of Bulgarian clubs are being threatened and cajoled. Players are puppets on a string as soon as their contracts are signed.

About the fixing in the Serie A, one can write a book. And books will be written. Juventus, a major team, have been the victim of malpractice and were relegated as a result. Italian football has struggled to recover. Even players of Euro 2012 are in the claws of the betting animal. Last friday, Italian squad player Leonardo Bonucci faced  a 3,5 year prison sentence, for influencing the Bari -Udinese game in 2010. Juventus manager Conte is heavily under fire as well.

Betting is not limited to end results or scores.  In the near future – maybe I already missed it – I expect that addicts will put their money on the colour of underwear of star players. Match-fixing and cheating at sport does not seem to be going away.

What about cheating at the Olympic Games? In ancient Greece Ausanias wrote about the Thessalian Eupolos to be the first to bribe competitors at boxing games. And haven’t we also seen some weird matches in the Badminton department during the current Olympic games, where Asian players did their utmost to lose?

When a player scores in his own goal, or misses a penalty twice things start smelling fishy. But can you smell a rat when it giving the first corner away or deliberately miss a penalty?Stopping organized crime who makes big money with the betting is a hard task. Betting will continue as long as man exists. Acquiring proof of a fix is an incredibly hard process.

One way to stop the fixing might be a stop on live betting. The Dutch government will put match-fixing under investigation. Minister Schippers blocked an investigation for a long time, stating that it was the responsibility of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and its players to sort out. On the other hand, it’s also claimed that the KNVB does not have the legislative authority to chase criminals.

Other governments have or will take actions on fixing-teams. Countries like Sweden and France recently introduced new laws against football manipulations. But in the Netherlands there is no hurry, nor an urge to change laws. In the country where St. Nicholas still exists, match-fixing is an evil that wanders elsewhere. Source: VI, voetbal en maffia (Knipping and Van Duren).

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Sports blogger from Rotterdam / Voorburg, the Netherlands. Running, playing tennis and football on amateur basis. Graduated Public Administration at Erasmus University. 40 years of age. Fan of AZ, Feyenoord. Loves to watch Wimbledon and Roland Garros