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Explainer: How match-fixing often goes beyond the result of the game

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What does match fixing mean?

On a basic level, match fixing is defined as the act of arranging the outcome of a sports match prior to its being played.

So are games being fixed in the League of Ireland?

The details of the latest probe have yet to come to light, but the implication appears to be that this was the case on more than one occasion. 

However, it may not be as straightforward as the simple act of determining who wins or loses a game.

Also, match fixing suggests that all 22 players might have a knowledge of the situation.

Yet in the majority of instances the question marks hang over a small number of individuals with the ability to influence proceedings even if they can’t quite manipulate everything that happens.

What do you mean?

Well, for example, the alleged fix on a particular game may not actually be related to the result.

It could be on markets which ask punters to gamble on whether a penalty will be awarded in a fixture or if both teams will score.

Therefore, in that scenario, there could be a suspicious concession of a penalty or a goal by a side that has won the match.

It’s not ‘throwing’ a game; it’s more ensuring that certain things happen within it.

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Other codes have their own version of this; it could be the throwing of a ‘no ball’ in cricket or managing the margin of victory in a basketball game.

How do authorities spot irregularities?

The leading sports organisations have a “memorandum of understanding” with bookmakers, who must report suspicious activity that is out of sync with normal betting turnover.

Large bets on side markets, for example, tend to arouse suspicion.

What markets are in the spotlight in the latest case?

More will come to light in due course, but there is a suggestion that deliberate fouls, and teams losing a game by a certain number of goals, are under investigation.


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