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Cheating In Sport Hits Home In Holland’s Eredivsie

Cheating In Sport Hits Home In Holland's Eredivsie Netherlands Football Betting Scandal

Dutch Match Fixing

• KNVB announce details
• Seven years later
• Kargbo banned (again)

Corruption and cheating in sport are now hitting the headlines so often that they’re leaving bruises that may never heal. What was once seen as just a few bad apples now appears to include most of the orchard, many of the fruit pickers and at least some of the farm owners, and as their activities ruin the fun for those of us gambling on sports at Bet365, the latest revelations just add to the sense that the problem is far bigger than has yet been made clear, especially in football.

Football’s reputation has already been damaged significantly by the downfall of Sepp Blatter and his criminal cohorts, the upper echelons of FIFA apparently so riddled with corruption that it would make even the Mafia wince in embarrassment. However it was perhaps to be hoped that whilst the fat men in suits were feathering their own nests at the expense of fans, the actual games being watched were still fair and being played on a level playing field.

This optimism on the part of those that like to bet on sports in the Netherlands, UK or wherever, is sadly probably misplaced as revelations surface that prove football, has its fair share of cheating in sport. Lamentably, of course, since those with the authority and position to discover this wrong doing are precisely the people who have a vested interest in no one finding out about it, and an even bigger vested interest in avoiding investigations into corruption in football.

Since the FIFA debacle, however, football has had to be seen to be getting its act together and thus now the blatant denials of cheating in sport casting a shadow over football, so long a standard feature of the entire organization’s reaction to accusations, have been shelved to be replaced with a spirit of coming clean where possible. Where possible, in this context, tending to mean several years ago so that the public reaction will mostly be one of indifference.

Footballs Too Cheating In Sport

The Dutch FA (the KNVB) announcing it had uncovered evidence of attempts to match-fix games in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football, seems on the face of it very much part and parcel of football trying to appear more strict, to do more to counter cheating in sport, but then you check the dates and discover that the instances took place back in 2009, and revolve around a match between Willem II Tilburg and FC Utrecht.

Ibrahim Kargbo football match fixing betting scandal cheating Willem II

Kargbo was banned – again (Photo: nos.nl)

Seven years? What were the Dutch FA investigators doing in that time? Apparently the crucial evidence was discovered in emails between Ibrahim Kargbo, Sierra Leone international and Willem II player, and Wilson Raj Perumal of Singapore, a man convicted of fraud at home and match-fixing crimes just about everywhere else. One of the most salient indicating that Kargbo had offered $25,000 to then captain Maikel Aerts and another player to ensure a loss by more than one goal.

Wait. It took the Dutch FA seven years to check his email account? Really? How did they think he was communicating? Semaphore? Isn’t that the place you start investigating people these days? Online? Apparently not if you’re the KNVB. Now perhaps that’s incompetence, but I wouldn’t go gambling news that someone knew a while ago and just didn’t mention it will not hit the headlines in the future. Just look at what happened in Tennis.

Seven Years To Check Email?

“Dutch football is one of the last in Europe to lose its innocence in this matter,” said Gijs de Jong, Ops Director at the KNVB, wording it in such a way that no overall innocence was claimed, “we have long warned this could happen in the Dutch league but it is still difficult to swallow now that this has been established.” Which smacks just a little of naivety these days, the downfall of the IAAF should be enough warning that cheating in sport extends into all of them in every country.

“Hopefully,” Gijs de Jong continued, “it will add urgency in the Netherlands to the fight against this plague.” Although he had to admit there wasn’t enough evidence to put Aerts in the frame (the Willem II vs FC Utrecht ended 1-0 and Perumal didn’t cough up the cash) and the third person involved still remains unknown. Which means urgent or not, if you’re Dutch gambling laws broken equates to people being punished, forget it, that’s a rubbish betting strategy, cheating in sport tends to stay there. 

Wilson Raj Perumal football match fixing betting scandal cheating

Perumal is the ultimate expert of match fixing, he even wrote a book on the matter (Photo: AFP)

Sure Kargbo has been banned, but he was already suspended in Sierra Leone for match-fixing so that’s not actually much progress, especially not as there’s a good chance a charity match between that national side and Kargbo’s Willem II was also rigged for the benefit of an Asian gambling syndicate, but do notice that the Dutch FA quietly attempted some more defection as it suggested many other games played by the Sierra Leone national side, captained by Kargbo, may also have been fixed.

Nice. Don’t concentrate on who the other player was or whether Aerts is on the take, just rubbish an entire national side instead. Cheating in sport is now so endemic that for anyone to point fingers beyond their own sphere is just a tad hypocritical. Putting one’s house in order begins at home, and it shouldn’t, under any circumstances, take seven years to get started.

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