Called the ‘beautiful game’ soccer in Europe may be in trouble as allegations about potential match-fixing have surfaced. The Champions League game may have been cooked in order to turn a profit on a handful of sports bets. This is what an official investigation is now trying to determine.
The Champions League Game – Fixed or Not?
A special investigation unit within the Champions League is trying to determine whether a number of officials have been trying and succeeding in manipulating the outcome of a tournament game which has allegedly brought them $5.7 million through sports betting.
The game in question is the one featuring Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), a France-based football powerhouse with forays into electronic sports, and Red Star Belgrade. The game finished at 6-1, which didn’t in itself raise much of a suspicion.
However, according to sources, an undisclosed official from the Serbian team had placed a €5-million wager, which has prompted a quick investigation. French police authorities are already on the case and local media has been buzzing with rumors that the match was fixed, rumors affirmed by the country’s most respected media outlets.
Police were tipped by UEFA officials who had also found the outcome quite surprising, and an investigation was launched subsequently. While Red Star could have indeed lost with a specific number of goals on purpose, they are not the only team to have been accused of wrongdoing.
In an unrelated case, Belgian prosecutors indicted as many as 19 individuals for their involvement in match-fixing schemes. Among the alleged culprits, there have been two referees along with football agents and Club Brugge’s coach, Ivan Leko. A similar case also recently surfaced in the Czech Republic.
A Reminder of Previous Scandals
Soccer is definitely not the most scot-free activity out there. In 2017, FIFA was rocked by massive scandals that prompted investigation. A number of officials succumbed to gruesome fate, putting an end to their own lives.
A lot of allegations have been surfacing particularly in Central and Eastern Europe with the Balkans proving a hotbed for such illegitimate scheming. More seriously though, the constant corruption has brought the game down to its knees, and this is one of the reasons no strong clubs from the East are actually honest rivals to Western clubs. Many organizations actually try to uproot the illegal practices related to football.
However, the question whether they have brought some of the bad practices with them remains. In this case, Paris Saint-Germain are not to blame and nothing in the game suggests so. Not least of all, the team is one of the most easily recognizable names in the world of football, which automatically means that they wouldn’t risk their reputation.
Meanwhile, Red Star has insisted that the competent authorities from France, Serbia and UEFA themselves launch a full-scale investigation so as to uncover the truth. Proving that the game has been fixed is always difficult but staking such an amount on the particular amount of the game is so bizarre as to warrant the utmost suspicion.
Red Star themselves seem determined to seek the truth whatever it may be.