Match-Fixing In Organized Sports Essay

International sport is a huge and highly profitable industry: the annual revenue of its participants is estimated at about $145 billion (Transparency International xix). However, this is only the tip of the iceberg lying in the legal field, whereas it is much more difficult to assess the illegal and corruption component. In particular, the global market of contractual matches is also suspected of earning hundreds of billions dollars per year, and the profits of bookmakers from illegal games are comparable to the annual incomes of huge corporations like Coca-Cola. Indeed, the number of fixed matches has recently reached horrendous figures. According to Interpol, only in 2012 to 2014, there were 67 major scandals around match fixing, and 53 states announced contractual matches being held on their territories in 2015, with 53% of them taking place in Europe and 70% being in football (Interpol 29). Overall, the last few years in Europe, there have been about 380 match-fixing games in football involving more than 420 players and officials, from 15 countries (Interpol 28). Meanwhile, match fixing is not only about receiving illegal earnings, but also illegal sports advantage undermining the basic rules of honest competition.

Thus, above all, it should be marked that the growing number of fixed matches is a social threat for all countries, since they are directly linked to criminal structures. According to Interpol, online sport betting often becomes a platform for laundering money obtained illegally, for example, from drug trafficking, human and organ trafficking, as well as other illegal operations, with a low risk of being caught (Interpol 22). Overall, organization of match fixing in football or tennis is a real chance to become a millionaire in a short time. Given the huge number of bookmaker companies around the world and the difficulty of tracking bets, the temptation to cross the line of law is significant. Moreover, innocent fans and unaware service users accidentally become the part of a crime, supporting the demand for sport gambling. As a result, the number of people wishing to earn on their sports knowledge is growing daily, and bookmakers increase their profits. It is even expected that the activity of bookmakers will grow by a third in the next three years (Transparency International 241).

Second of all, in addition to obtaining huge payoffs from sport gambling agencies, sportsmen may also intentionally underperform in order to gain some future sport advantage, including better draft, favorable schedule, or weaker opponent in a play-off. These two factors combined totally undermine the ethics and values promoting community confidеnce in sports, including the guarantees of fair competition, honest performance, and outcomes that are unaffected by external interests or illegitimate enhancements. As Saha (79) rightly marks, illegal conduct of athletes, officials and other stakeholders eventually compromises the integrity of tournaments and damages the reputation of sport overall: thus, fans start questioning the sense of their support for particular teams, share mistrust to sponsors and organizers, as well as generally feel disappointment instead of being motivated and entertained. Sport competitions simply stop performing their pedagogical and cultural role properly.

After all, match fixing is a serious violation of the rules of sports, and their organization is a crime. There are laws that allow punishment for interference in competition results and illegal betting. At the same time, since it is usually extremely difficult to prove the fact of collusion, most of match fixing cases remain unrevealed. Moreover, it becomes obvious from recent Interpol and Transparency International reports that almost none of the actors, from functionaries to players and their agents, as well as manipulators themselves, are factually interested in these dark cases be investigated. In these circumstances, the only way to deal with the issue is probably to work on values starting with the young athletes and influencing them through education. Besides, several independent centers have recently been organized in order to analyze the streams of betting stakes and react in case of unusual conduct (Transparency International 313). Overall, in football alone, over $28 million will be spent on a 10-year program to combat corruption and educate players, judges and sports officials (Interpol 78-81). There is hope that these and other measures will protect sport from fraudulent activity on all the levels.

Works Cited:

Interpol. IOC Handbook on Protecting Sport from Competition Manipulation. Lyon: Interpol, 2016. PDF.

Saha, Bibhas. “An Economist’s Perspective on Match-fixing and Self-sabotage in Contests,” IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review 4.2 (2015): 77-85.

Transparency International. Global Corruption Report: Sport. Routledge, 2016. PDF.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]
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