Match-fixing has long been considered an issue in the world of sport.
You will likely already be aware of some of the most high-profile examples of sports match-fixing.
Perhaps the most famous of sports match-fixing occurred in Italy and resulted in Juventus being stripped of a Serie A title.
Known as Calciopoli, the scandal blighted Italian football, and Juventus were booted out of the league.
A forced relegation meant they had to rebuild the club, and it took time for them to reach the summit once more.
But is match-fixing still a significant issue in football?
Football match-fixing in 2019
Fixed football matches are not uncommon. But it is hard to know exactly how many games are being affected.
In the top competitions such as the Champions League and the Premier League, fixing is very rare indeed.
Head abroad to some lesser leagues in the world and football matches that are fixed become more common.
Asian betting specialists are often suspected to be behind the significant match-fixing incidences in the world of football.
While this may not be a fair assumption, it is difficult to know for sure, as the fixing is so secretive, for apparent reasons.
La Liga match-fixing investigation
You may recall a story from earlier in the year. Spain’s top three football leagues were involved in a survey focusing on fixed football matches.
Police made a number of arrests after La Liga de Futbol Profesional raised suspicions over a match. The game was between Sociedad Deportiva Huesca and Gimnastic de Tarragona.
Huesca president Agustin Lasaosa was among those arrested, according to local reports in Spain. It was claimed that Raul Bravo – who played for Real Madrid and Spain earlier in his career – was also arrested.
“We would like to thank the extraordinary job done by the national police to break up this organized group that had been engaged in criminal activities to obtain economic benefits by fixing matches on Spanish soil,” said a statement released by the league.
The judge who was investigating match-fixing in Spain later suggested a fixture in La Liga between Real Valladolid and Valencia was also fixed.
Valencia won the game 2-0 to secure qualification for the Champions League, with Valladolid players having been told to lose the match.
However, Valencia was not involved in the match-fixing scandal. It was seemingly organized for betting purposes.
Finding fixed football matches
Often, it does not become evident until after the fact that a football match was, in fact, fixed. Authorities, of course, would be looking to act if this information was made public before the kick-off.
Finding fixed football matches is therefore extraordinarily tricky, apart from those who have involved themselves, of course.
Anyone wishing to find a football match that was going to be fixed would find it very hard to do so.
Match-fixing remains a scourge on sport, and the story from La Liga earlier in the year shows it is still a problem.
Whether the football authorities can stamp down on a fixed football match effectively remains to be seen.