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January 19, 2011
 

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Sniffing His Fingers Out of Nervousness

What’s the going rate to fix a match?  Reviewing multiple tales of bribery and gambling churned up from the ongoing investigation in Bochum, Germany, it appears the standard fee is €100K for a footballer.  As for the referees, it seems the fixers currently offer around  €50K per match.

See–even gamblers don’t respect the referees.

The Court for Arbitration and Sport recently upheld the lifetime ban handed down by UEFA to Ukrainian referee Oleg Oriekhov.  Oriekhov was offered his €50K to fiddle with the 2009 Europa League match between FC Basel and CSKA Sofia.  Although it could not be proven with certainty that Oriekhov did the deed, CAS rejected his claim that the “he no speak English so good” defense was pathetic.

In testimony during the Bochum trial, gambling ringleader Ante Sapina admitted he paid Bosnian referee Novo Panic €40K in 2009 to fix a World Cup qualifer against Liechtenstein and Finland.  It is rumored that Panic is actually Croatian, so he might have been giving Sapina a homeboy discount.

The price has risen slightly over time–inflation seems a problem for match fixers too–as Sapina was paying Robert Hoyzer roughly €20K a match back in 2004 to be a meddling kid during lower league German matches.

While the current trial continues, it is likely that many other referees will be named and chances are pretty high that three things might similar after Sapina learned his lessons from the Hoyzer affair:

1. The referee is likely to be from an East European nation
2. The bribe will be somewhere around €50K per match
3. The matches in question will be slightly off the map and likely international in nature

In other words, you’re probably next on the list Anton Genov.

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