Courtesy of djyimg.com

Courtesy of djyimg.com

By Gabe Wanissian, Sports Editor

In the Midst of the Global World Cup hysteria and the growing interest in soccer in the United States, along with chants of  “I believe that we will win!” a cloud has begun to shadow over the global sport; the ever-so growing suspicion of match-fixing has reached a fever-pitch. Cameroon had been heavily scrutinized after Wilson Raj Perumal, a notorious game better suspected of match fixing connections, not only successfully predicted a 4-0 Loss to Croatia but that Alex Song of the respective Cameroon national team would be red-carded in the first half. Perumal stated that of the entire team, “Seven bad apples” were susceptible to being paid off. FIFA declined to comment on the issue.

To make matters worse, Ghana was recently found to have agreed to have fixed matches during international friendly play. While those games did not impact the actual play of the World Cup, Analysts said that their purposely weaker play during friendly bouts would lead to bigger payouts in the event of a Ghana victory during actual World Cup play.

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation of all came last year, when a European police intelligence agency finished a 19-month long investigation. They found that 680 games were potentially tarnished by match fixing; 150 bouts were found to be international (Confederation cup and World Cup included), while the rest were found to be European sanctioned matches (including Euro Cup, and Club team games). Investigators found 425 referees, players, and coaches that were in on the match fixes. The identified culprits were paid upwards of around $11 million dollars. Europol Director Rob Wainright stated “Match-fixing of this scale has never been seen before… This is a sad day for European Football.”

While knowledge of potential match-fixing in soccer is prevalent in the consciousness of soccer fans around the world, it is rarely spoken about in the media. Soccer is growing in the United States, but it remains to be seen if this growing issue of predetermined finishes will put a halt to soccer’s rise in popularity in the states. One of the common complaints among soccer cynics is that they refuse to watch a sport that includes, players staging their injuries to get foul calls. A soccer enthusiast would argue that it is merely a part of the game, but both parties could agree on one thing; nobody wants to see a staged outcome.