There is a wave of globalized match-fixing occurring in football. In the last few years, there have been investigations and scandals in dozens of different countries in every continent. However, no academic has explored why the players agree to fix these football matches? They display few of the characteristics of normal deviancy: the athletes have high societal and sexual status. They are, purportedly, well-rewarded for their work. In previous work, it has been shown that the athletes are rarely coerced into fixing, so why would they fix matches? In this paper, the author uses both quantitative and qualitative (including interviews with some athletes) methods to show that fixing is largely the purview of older players nearing the end of their careers.
KeywordsFootball Organized crime Mafia Asia World cup Globalization Gambling Betting Fixing Match-fixing
A great thank you to the many translators for all their time and work on the confession database. Their kindness is deeply appreciated: Kess t’Hooft, Stefan De Wachter, Riina Ristikari, Srefania Battistelli, Graziano Lolli, Andrea Patacconi, Julika Erfurt, Thomas Gerken, Franziska Telschow, Sohnke Vosgerau, Natasha Gorina, Ekaterina Korobtseva, Ekaterina Kravchenko, Svetlana Guzeev, Eugene Demchenko, Alisa Voznaya, Maria Semenova and Emre Ozcan.
A thank you as well to the two anonymous reviewers of an early draft of this paper: their comments were invaluable. Any errors or omission are the author’s fault. Also to Professors Johann Lambsdorff and Michael Biggs for their help in structuring the various databases. A big debt of gratitude to my two supervisors Anthony Heath and Diego Gambetta for their great skill in guiding this work to its completion.
Finally a thank you to the fixers/corruptors who risked so much to speak to me about their methods of work and success in their field.
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