This book will forever change the way you think and feel about professional sport.
The Fix is the most explosive story of sports corruption in a generation. It presents compelling evidence that some of the highest soccer matches in the world may have been fixed: European Champions League, Olympic and World Cup tournaments.
Intriguing, riveting, and compelling, it tells the story of an investigative journalist, Declan Hill, who set out to examine the world of match-fixing in professional soccer.
Hill came face-to-face with the multi-billion dollar illegal Asian gambling industry. Over four years, he interviewed more than two hundred people, including professional gamblers, Mafia hitmen, undercover cops, top-level international soccer players, referees, and officials. He met men who claim they have bribed their way into fixing the results of some of the biggest matches in the sport. Initially very sceptical, Hill travelled across four continents to corroborate their stories. He found soccer leagues where mobsters have fixed more than eighty per cent of the games. But most chilling, he met and then was adopted by a small group of match-fixers.In The Fix, Hill explains the structure and mechanics of illegal gambling syndicates, what soccer players and referees do (or not do) to affect the outcome of their games, why relatively rich and high-status athletes would fix games, how and why club officials would bribe the opposition and how they get referees “on their side.” Perhaps most shocking is Hill’s discovery that gambling fixers have successfully infiltrated the game, all the way to the top international matches.
The book, however, is not just about match fixing in soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Throughout the text, Hill uses examples from other sports – tennis, hockey, even rowing – to show that the credibility of professional sport now lies on a fragile foundation, and it provides enough hints to suspect that all sports above amateur level should look nervously over their shoulder.
From the Introduction:
“”Understand how gambling fixers work to corrupt a soccer game and you will understand how they move into a basketball league, a cricket tournament, or a tennis match (all places, by the way, that criminal fixers have moved into). My views on soccer have changed. I still love the Saturday-morning game between amateurs: the camaraderie and the fresh smell of grass. But the professional game leaves me cold. I hope you will understand why after reading the book. I think you may never look at sport in the same way again.”