Soccer match-rigging, straight out of a Gibson novel


23 Responses to “Soccer match-rigging, straight out of a Gibson novel”

  1. If all the game fixing amounts to bribing referees, the solution is to have a pool of referees with random, blind game assignments with no access to communications after assignment.

    If you don’t know who to bribe, or the person you’re bribing doesn’t know which way to impact the game, you can’t fix the result.

  2. Comboman says:

    “The system is stacked so it’s gamblers further down the chain who bear all the risks.”

    Sounds a lot like Wall Street.

  3. grimatongueworm says:

    Donning my CPU and checking Milgrim out of rehab.

  4. Soccer is a random game anyway. Here’s the rational:
    - imagine there’s 10% difference between the two teams.
    - Well, first imagine there’s 10% difference between two 100m runners (the 1st one is gold, the 2nd one won’t even qualify for the nationals), or two Tour de France Cyclist (the 2nd one would arrive 2 days later). So we agree that in pro sport 10% of difference is HUGE.
    - Now apply this to, for instance, basketball where there’s an average of, let’s say, 100 points per game. It means that one team will score 65 vs 55 on average. Still pretty significant.
    - Now apply this to soccer with an average of ONE point per match. It means that if you ran about TEN games between them, one team would score about 6 times and the other one about 5 times. Now pick a game at random in there: half the time the weakest (and we admit that 10% is a huge difference) team wins.

    Hence soccer is a shit random game. There’s also another rational that explains that the more random a sport outcome is, the most rabid the supporters, but that’s another story.

  5. Dorkomatic says:

    It’s impossible for such a big money-rich system NOT to get gamed by crooks.  But the scale and intricacy of this is mind blowing.

    • vonbobo says:

      Agreed. Not looking forward to the day when the NFL is busted.

      • NotthefakeLevi says:

        Do you have independent reasons for thinking the NFL is at risk?
        Because this scandal provides no reason for thinking so. Rigging mostly refs or players at low levels who earn very little with the refs being assigned by minor leagues doesn’t translate well to the NFL. NFL refs are paid much more in comparison and have a single organization overlooking their performance.

      • B E Pratt says:

         I was just thinking about this. I don’t think you could do this kind of thing at all with football simply because it is not a world-wide sport. That seems to be the big key.

  6. rastronomicals says:

    I was understanding him fine until I ran across this:

    “FIFA rhetoric is to action what a remaindered paperback copy of Pippi in the South Seas is to the Horsehead Nebula.”

  7. bluehenbear says:

    Replace the FIFA acronym with NCAA…

  8. KevinRaposo says:

    I think this is something that we all knew was going on. Think about it, it’s a sport that’s played all around the world. This doesn’t surprise me one bit!

  9. annoyingmouse says:

    Hmmm.  Not sure about some of the points in the article that are completely out of context. For example, the goal in the footnote which he claims is “hard to explain” is actually very easy to explain.  Football referees don’t use video evidence and can’t magically see an aerial shot.  It is perfectly possible to make that sort of mistake especially when you’re human.  Don’t forget that for every goal like that disallowed there’s a Russian linesman who’ll help you out.  Linking in every dodgy ref decision with corruption gets us nowhere.  Of course, there’s an easy solution to it but that’s a different story.

    Another point seemingly missed is that there’s an awful lot of clubs out there desperately struggling for money at the moment who surely should be rolling in bribes if it’s so widespread?

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s far too much corruption in the game but I don’t see how that means the entire sport should be dismissed.

  10. James Penrose says:

    I’ve always assumed most pro “sports” were rigged to begin with.  Far too much money involved to just let these things be determined by skill and luck.

    “Bread and circuses” bankrupted Rome but modern day sports keeps the mob opiated *and* turns huge profits.

  11. Cowicide says:

    Yet another reason I like my sports like I like my “spirituality”…  not organized.  Well, unless it was organized by mother nature, that is:

  12. Greg Van Antwerp says:

    Is it me or are there and alarming lack of comments attached to an article posted 12 hours earlier. Could it be indicative of my feelings toward the sport (professional version)? which is “meh.”

  13. UhhhClem says:

    Brian Phillips, by the way, is the author of the Pro Vercelli story, the single best gaming epic ever to appear on the Internet. It’s even better than the Saga of Boatmurdered. Few who have read it will ever forget Phillips’s detestation of Walter Columbo, the fantastically incompetent assistant coach who is an entire Bartleby constructed from a couple of statistics. Seek this out. It’s magic, and also utterly insane.

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