Match-fixing is one of the serious issues that have been plaguing the world of sports - especially football association - for years. Fixed matches usually have illegal betting rings behind them. Betway South Africa soccer betting is safe from it, given that the operator is a member of the ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) industry group actively fighting against fraud caused by the unfair manipulation of sporting events.
There are, in turn, betting businesses that don't shy away from illegal methods to sway the odds their way, making match-fixing a pressing issue that still has a major influence on many sports leagues, championships, and individual games around the world.
How big an issue is match-fixing?
According to the dedicated Wikipedia article, Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) has investigated more than 680 matches in 30 countries in just 18 months prior to February 2013. The problems are often attributed to Asian criminal organizations that generate "hundreds of billions of euros" each year from this activity.
Match-fixing is seen as a major problem around the world of association football, with some calling it a "crisis", others - like UEFA president Michel Platini - considering it a major threat to the integrity of the sport that could end up killing it if it goes unchecked.
Recent match-fixing scandals
This May, a number of 35 Ukrainian football clubs were accused of match-fixing. Similar scandals have emerged in European countries like Serbia, Romania, Portugal, Greece, and France. Some of the most resounding match-fixing scandals broke out in England a few years ago - it involved a number of Asian fixers with connections in Singapore, several players in various leagues, including the Premier League, and ended with arrests, bans for life, and similar punishments. And in Italy, such scandals are uncovered pretty often - this year, prosecutors have been investigating Serie A side Parma, banning an involved player for two years, and a few years ago, a similar investigation has involved seven teams and more than 50 people.
Last March, the South African national team was also a subject to investigation. Allegations of the team's World Cup qualifying win against Senegal being fixed have emerged, the team's win was called "contrived", and the Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for life by FIFA. Apparently, the match-fixing has been uncovered by uncovered following irregular betting activities - the very thing the ESSA, mentioned above, was meant to detect in a timely manner.
Match-fixing is one of the biggest issues still plaguing the world of association football today, even with the various authorities and organizations working on eradicating it.