Monday 22 October 2018

University of Limerick research shows that 12% of athletes have played in a fixed match

Football pitch
Football pitch

More than 12% of athletes that took part in a University of Limerick study on match fixing admitted to having played in a match that was fixed.

The findings of Fix the Fixing: Proactive Quelling of Sports Events Manipulation were revealed today, with more than 600 participants from across six countries taking part in the study.

15% of those surveyed said that they suspect that they have played in a fixed match, with nearly 40% of participants reporting that club officials were the most likely to instigate match fixing.

Almost 15% of participants also said that they have been approached by someone in the last year who asked them to fix a match. Of those approached, 36% said they would not report it.

The survey was conducted with athletes in Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland and UK and respondents were involved in the sports of soccer, basketball, Olympic handball, volleyball, badminton, waterpolo, gymnastics, weightlifting, rugby, swimming and martial arts.

Speaking at the launch of the findings, former GAA President and MEP for Ireland South Sean Kelly spoke of the need to stamp out match fixing from Irish sport.

"Match-fixing is an international phenomenon often linked to criminal networks," Kelly said.

"Ireland is not immune to this threat which has rocked the very foundations on which sport is based. The European Commission has been actively developing initiatives to combat match fixing; if we fail to act sport viewership, spectatorship and participation are all at risk. In Ireland we are passionate about watching sport, perhaps more than we love doing it, and people won’t watch sports if they perceive them to be fixed. It is not knowing what will happen that makes sports attractive."

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