Against the backdrop of the latest scandal violating UK gambling laws, Alex Horne, the general secretary of the Football Association, believes that the issue of match fixing is not a widespread problem.
At a recent meeting to address the issue of “spot-fixing”, the representatives from many sporting areas concluded that while fixing is not a wide-scale issue in the UK at present, the mechanics behind betting corruption still need to be addressed. With online sportsbooks in the UK continuing to gain in popularity, this is definitely a hot topic right now.
“I think the general consensus around the room was this isn’t a big issue,” commented Horne, “The intelligence that we have says this isn’t a wide-scale issue at the moment but, again, we don’t want to be complacent.”
However, the issue of mobile betting on UK sports, from both home and abroad, make it difficult to assess the scope of the problem. Following the recent arrest of former Portsmouth player Sam Sodje’s for taking a GBP 70,000 payment to get red carded in one match has sent up red flags.
“You have to wonder how much betting has to go on for it [paying someone GBP 70,000] to be worthwhile,” said Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association.
It appears that the issue of fixing takes root far from the UK’s home ground, since much of the organisation and financing for betting fixes originate in South East Asia, most notably Singapore.
This grey area surrounding the issue of fixing in specific occurrences, like a player being red carded, has made it a tricky area to regulate, and an issue that needs “we have to work out” according to Hawkswood.
“We don’t want to see this [corruption] in our sport and so, therefore, we are doing everything we can, we are looking at all measures we can across sport but also with agencies,” concluded Horne.