YverdonSportThe latest scandal to hit European football involves no less than 200 games which are being investigated over corruption charges. They include some matches in the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) and Champions League qualifying stages, but most involve teams from lower national leagues.

A German newspaper released some details over the specifics, and has revealed the identities of clubs from Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium and Croatia. In one game in April 2009, in the 2nd Swiss division between Yverdon Sport and FC Thun, the visiting team received €1500 Euros to lose by a 4-goal deficit, which they did with the final score resulting in a 5-1 home victory.

Most of the probes involve exactly that—bookmakers paying weaker teams money to lose by a specific result, which sounds a lot easier than bribing both teams. It also makes sense that they have managed to get away with it for so long—the outcome of these games looks fairly obvious even before the first whistle, and the only thing in doubt is by how much one team will lose.

It doesn’t make it any less of a crime, however, as this is obviously not what football or any sport is about. It is a sad thing that the chasm between clubs has grown so large that some would simply be paid for losing than actually trying. The good news is that, at least for the time being, this massive shake-up may just discourage these practices.


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