3 Biggest Match-Fixing Scandals In Football History

Match-fixing scandals are horrible stains on football history, and every other month, there’s yet another instance of it trending on social media. More often than not, a lot more of it goes on than what eventually gets reported.

Sometimes, the truth comes out and those involved are punished. However, these punishments rarely serve as deterrents for clubs and players, as new match-fixing scandals keep surfacing.

With this in mind, let’s look at the three of the biggest match-fixing in football history:

  • The Great British Football Betting Scandal

In 1964, the great British football betting scandal of the 1960s was uncovered: a betting ring organized by Jimmy Gauld and involving several Football League players had been fixing matches. The most famous incident involved three Sheffield Wednesday players, including two England international players, who were subsequently banned from football for life and imprisoned after it was discovered they had bet on their team losing a match against Ipswich Town. A similar scandal had occurred in 1915.

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  • 1980 Italian Football Scandal

In May 1980, the largest match fixing scandal in the history of Italian football was uncovered by Italian Guardia di Finanza, after the spalling of two Roman shopkeepers, Alvaro Trinca and Massimo Cruciani, who declared that some Italian football players sold the football-matches for money, implicating, among others, AC Milan and Lazio. Teams were suspected of rigging games by selecting favorable referees, with superstar Italian World Cup team goalkeeper Enrico Albertosi and future 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Paolo Rossi being banned for betting on football games. Both clubs were forcibly relegated to Serie B and the ringleader of the scheme, Milan president Felice Colombo, received a lifetime ban.

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  • The Disgrace of Gijon

During the 1982 FIFA World Cup, West Germany and Austria played a game on 25 June known as the Disgrace of Gijón due to accusations that both teams had fixed the match.

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