Friday, February 18, 2011

What are the odds?

Fifa investigates possible match fixing after seven goals - all penalties - are scored in two friendly internationals

The credibility of friendly international matches and Fifa’s ability to adequately regulate them is facing a fresh challenge after serious suspicions of match fixing were raised over two games held on Wednesday last week in Turkey.

Fifa confirmed to Telegraph Sport on Tuesday that it was examining whether there were suspicious betting patterns surrounding Bolivia’s 2-1 defeat of Latvia and the 2-2 draw between Estonia and Bulgaria.

The games were played consecutively on neutral territory at the Mardan Stadium in Antalya. All seven goals were penalties, an outcome described by one bookmaking source as “freakishly unlikely”. One of the penalties was ordered to be retaken after the first kick was missed. ...

See the complete story here, courtesy of The Telegraph.

Kicking Back's Comments: While I rail against FIFA for its corruption, this incident, if proven true, will bear the same fruit. It is unconscionable that one who is charged with care for THE game could act in such a manner. While I am willing to wait for the inquiry to complete to cast that stone, it is difficult to believe that every single goal was scored by a legitimate penalty (in regular time mind you). While I do believe in the "black swan" or "outliers", experience tells me otherwise here.

If shown to be true, this referee, the assistants and 4th official should not be allowed to referee again, ever, for any association. Any promoter should face a similar fate via what ever legal mechanisms exist.

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