By Ryan Fleming
We have seen it in soccer and other sports. And we’ve seen spouses do it to each other, most recently Tiger Woods to his wife, Swedish model, Elin Nordegren. Cheating unfortunately is almost a part of life, a part that a great majority of us would like to remove sooner rather than later. It’s also a part that many like to hide for fear of repercussion and humiliation. Why do it then?
Unfortunately, the terrible deed is spreading like a contagious disease with no end in sight. The football world is now being effected and FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is now conducting their investigation.
Match fixing has spanned through nine countries and has reared it’s ugly head in over 200 known Champions League and Europa League matches. Again, the question arises, why? As the investigation continues it’s teams in the lowly bottom divisions of countries like Croatia, Switzerland and Germany where football is a part of life and so much, perhaps too much, money can be made.
In Germany, where pressure is continuously mounting and the amount of money being thrown around– and up for grabs– is so tremendous that the temptation to cheat or somehow better yourself against the rules is certainly a close reality.
Just a couple weeks ago there was the infamous Thierry Henry handball incident that the Ireland national team and their fans will not soon forget. Henry committed a handball inside Ireland’s box which allowed him to assist lead to the game-tying goal a second later. France won on aggregate, 2-1, sending Les Bleus to the World Cup and the Boys in Green– as well as their fans home– packing with only a sniff of pride and another four-year wait.
Now, to call Henry, who is an indispensable face in football and a notable advocate against racism, a cheater is certainly a bit harsh. But what FIFA President Sepp Blatter chose not to do that is more astonishing, and shameful. Blatter and his gang decided to not have a replay, which has happened before, to not institute video replay and to not have an extra referee in the World Cup games this upcoming summer.
FIFA recognizes certain types of cheating, but turns a blind eye to other kinds, depending on the outcome. FIFA continues to slam those who committed the match-faltering acts in Europe and apologize to the Football Association of Ireland, but it’s all “what have you done for me lately?” So far, it’s not a whole lot.
Ryan Fleming is a contributing writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow The Soccer Guys on Twitter @TheSoccerGuys for all your updates.