Soccer Match Fixing, the Mafia, and the Rest of Us

By Gary Troia
The Godfather, courtesy of


I don’t know if anyone caught it, but apparently a crime syndicate has been fixing football matches. The press, pundits, ex-players and seemingly everyone is shocked and dismayed by this revelation. What revelation would this be then? Footballers and match officials are greedy enough to accept bribes?

But don’t worry, FIFA is going to look into it. I guess we can all sleep soundly in our beds now. At least they’ll know where to start looking as FIFA officials have been taking bribes for years. I’ve heard of the blind leading the blind, and now I’ve heard of the corrupt investigating the corrupt.

Unless anyone is not aware, corruption of Italian football has been rife.  Juventus was relegated for it and a couple of titles were taken off them. And the Camorra (Neapolitan Mafia) has had their tentacles in SSC Napoli for a long time.

But I know what the English press and commentators would say to that; yeah, but that is Italy and the whole country is corrupt.  Well, the mafia maybe corrupt and greedy – but so are we all, it’s just that the mafia are more successful at it than the rest of us.

I am sick and tired of all this sanctimonious garbage that emanates from the mouths and pens of the English Football establishment.

For example, I know Gary Lineker is not a man of honor, but he hawks potato snacks that are fattening and full of other nasty things to overweight children – and then he is in another commercial telling everyone that they should be getting fit.

Joe Hart, the Manchester City and England goalkeeper, makes a reputed £100,000 ($157,000) a week, but still makes a shampoo commercial that looks like the start of a gay porn film.

I have nothing against these people – they are just greedy like the rest of us.  I am greedy. When I have written this article and published it, I will be hoping for more re-tweets and likes than the last one. Twitter is really all about getting more followers: RT THIS FOR MORE FOLLOWERS. Greed is endemic throughout the world and is unfortunately a part of the human condition – we all want more and what we have is never enough.

Although there are more than 680 matches that were rigged, according to Europol, the emotional handwringing, in England, has focused on the one match that took place in England between Liverpool and Debrecen; because our sensibilities can’t quite cope with the fact that greed and corruption has infiltrated our beautiful game on our own shores.

So before you join the chorus of the troubled throng, just remember this: the mafia is greedy, I am greedy, and you are greedy.  By the way, please feel free to re-tweet; after all, you wouldn’t want to wake up with a horse’s head in your bed tomorrow morning, would you now?

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