Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Every professional footballer paid to influence outcome of match

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United

The current investigations into match-fixing in football are a serious business – let's make no mistake about that.

Cheating, whatever form that takes, is wrong.

Being paid to do it is even worse.

Think of the many fans who pay to watch matches being ripped off by a group of people trying to make a quick buck by ensuring that the team that they love loses.

It may have been targeted on matches in England's lower leagues, but with a group from Singapore allegedly behind the scam it goes world wide and could have far reaching consequences for football in particular and sport in general.

It is no good saying that it goes too far and it can't be stopped and burying our heads in the sand.

The football authorities and police must do their utmost to not only prevent it, but stamp it out completely.

It is the offence which those involved in the actual games have been charged with that raises eyebrows though – "taking money to influence the outcome of a football match."

Isn't that what every professional player on the planet does?

They can't all be charged with trying to fix matches!

Put it like this, Real Madrid pay Cristiano Ronaldo a whopping £300,000 a week in the hope that he can influence the outcome of every one of their matches.

It's when he DOESN'T do what he's paid for that questions are asked.

Even he – arguably the best player around at present – can't guarantee the outcome of a match, but you can bet on him delivering more often than not.

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