Caught by surprise for hearing this news for the first time, I was shocked to hear about the serious incidents of match-fixing in Canadian Soccer League(known as CSL) games. The scheme is operated by Billion Dollar Online Betting industry, based out of Europe, who send paid ‘runners’ to each CSL game to report the game live by cellphone. This procedure is set-up to prevent betters and fixers from adding bets throughout the game before the bookmakers can change their odds. It is reported by Metro newspaper that “Each week, 10 of the biggest online betting sites offer lines on every Canadian Soccer League game.”
CBC news covered the news with interviews with Metro reporter extensively on CBC National on September 12,2012 where I’ll include the video here in this article.
The irony is that this serious issue was initially reported to CBC, along with witness reports by some CSL players as well as wiretaps of conversation between betting sites and their representatives in CSL games. Yet as shown in the video, Canada Soccer League Association, when interviewed by CBC, denied hearing such allegation.
Today’s Metro news though sheds light on next steps for CSL, as they await FIFA’s guidance on how to respond.
“In the meantime, convicted, confessed matchfixers have been caught on tape talking about purchasing a local Canadian team.
Those documents were flush with conversations between Ante Sapina, Marijo Cvrtak and Chris Budimir – German based matchfixers – talking about how they could manipulate games in the CSL. And once they had actually done it, the tapes caught their overwhelming glee at their prospects.
“If we don’t become rich here, then I don’t know where we could become rich,” Budimir told Cvrtak, the CBC reported.
Meanwhile their conversations extended further, even looking at what it would take to buy a team and arguing at how fast they should go about doing that.” “, Metro reports.
As these serious crimes are sadly witnessed in Canadian soccer league, CSL Association is expected to investigate who exactly funds each of the CSL teams. Also CSL officials are also expected to file a complaint with the local police or RCMP to help them root out the match manipulators on Canadian soccer games.
If this serious crime are not dealt with by Canadian officials, Canadian Soccer will fall victim of match-fixing scandal that will severely hurt Canadian soccer fans’ trust in Canadian soccer league and even national team, leading to CSL game sanctions by fans, and damping on Canadian soccer reputation at international stage.