How Gambling Corruptors Fix Football Matches

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Gambling and crime, Football--Betting


How do gambling corruptors fix football matches? How do a group of disparate players and gamblers come together, organize themselves and then perform a con in front of a large audience including their own team-mates and officials? This paper examines the difficulties and challenges faced by corruptors in both organizing this type of fraud and approaching the players. It is based on both quantitative and qualitative methods of research: over 220 interviews with players, referees, sports/law enforcement officials, as well as gambling industry representatives and corruptors; the creation of several databases including the Fixed Match Database which has over 130 legally certified examples of fixed matches, and a control group of 120 matches that can be presumed to be played honestly: and finally the collection of police or other transcripts of corruptors taped while attempting to corrupt matches. The findings are that the corruptors have five distinct stages in fixing matches – access, set-up, calling the fix, performance and payment - and that their methods of approaching players are similar to the business strategies of some erotic dancers.


This article was originally published in the journal, "European Sport Management Quarterly," volume 9, issue 4, 2009.



Publisher Citation

Declan Hill (2009) How Gambling Corruptors Fix Football Matches, European Sport Management Quarterly, 9:4, 411-432, DOI: 10.1080/16184740903332018