'Robert Wainwright - World Economic Forum on Europe 2011' photo (c) 2011, World Economic Forum - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Europol Director, Rob Wainwright

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world for many reasons. It brings out all human emotions. Players have fun and keep fit. But most importantly,- at the highest level – it produces piles of money.  

Team owners and managers deal in monopoly money just to buy the team or player or coach that they want why wouldn’t they buy a result or two?

700 suspects and 680 fixed matches is more troubling. EuroPol blames Organized Crime for rampant corruption at every level of the game on every continent.

Italy has been part of so many scandals they have to name them like hurricanes. Antonio Conte, coach of the Scudetto holders Juventus spent 10 months on the bench due to the latest investigations. 

 

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Surprise, Surprise…

Many nations dispute the legitimacy of Qatar’s successful bid of the  2022 World Cup. Most recently the French FA published a report implicating their Nikolas Sarkozy. Stronger bids from the US and South Korea both lost.  

Mohammed bin Hammam is the most prominent scapegoat from within FIFA. The former FIFA presidential candidate had his lifetime ban overturned, reduced and then extended. 

The same question facing (much poorer)  world governments faces FIFA and EuroPol. How do you restrict greed? There is a climate of abuse incubated by the astronomical amounts of money pumped out of the game. It’s a matter of choice and I think it’s beyond enforcing. Billions of dollars leave fans pockets and go to those of bureaucrats and criminals as well as our lavishly paid heroes. We’ll still be watching. It’s that good even when it’s no good at all. 

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