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Indian journalist: Match fixing can’t be stopped

November 1st, 2007 by Rasmus Wilhardt & Troels Kaltoft · 1 Comment


Murali Krishnan in front of a picture of the late Bob Woolmer (Photo: Troels Kaltoft)

In India, the penalty for a player who is involved in match fixing only concerns his sport. He will not be prosecuted for a legal felony. Whereas the fixer risks receiving a fine. None of them will do time in prison.

Murali Krishnan, a journalist for the Indo Asian News service, gave a presentation on match fixing on the last day of the Play the Game conference in Reykjavik, Iceland.

He summarized an alarming history of match fixing within the sport which has resulted in not only unfair results but maybe even murder as well. In March 2007 Bob Woolmer, the head coach for Pakistan, died in his hotel room in Jamaica after his team has lost their opening game to Ireland in the 2007 World Cup. The odds were 80 to 1. The murder investigation was eventually stopped, but according to Murali Krishnan there were evidence, that he died from poisoning and strangulation.

According to Murali Krishnan, who by the way travelled 33 hours to be at the conference in Reykjavik, both match fixers and players make millions while violating the fair play manners which professional sports in general at least publicly are eager to promote and strive for.

Betting is in fact illegal in India, which is the reason why most illegal bookmakers are from India, where cricket is a huge sport. And even though the stories about match fixing has been written in the Indian media, cricket is still very popular.

“The audience was angry when they found that some of their heroes were cheaters. Sponsorship deals fell through. But time is a great healer”, Murali Krishnan states.

He believes that the problem with match fixing is far greater than the same problems within for example tennis.

“Tennis is like a wimper. The problems with match fixing in cricket are much, much bigger“, he says.

And according to him the problem will not stop any time soon. Partly because gamblers can bet on very specific parts of the game, which means that the fixers can make an enormous amount of money just by making an agreement with the team captain.

“It can not be stamped out, but it can be controlled if the bodies act against the players”.

Tags: Theme: Anti-doping

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