The World Cup started off in grand fashion. The very first match was rigged so the host team could notch a victory.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac said his players “better give it up now and go home” after Brazil were awarded what looked to be a soft, and crucial, penalty in their 3-1 win in the World Cup opening game.
With the match tied at 1-1 in the second half, Japanese official Yuichi Nishimura awarded Brazil a contentious spot-kick when striker Fred went down after a light touch from Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren.
Kovac called the penalty “ridiculous” and said Nishimura was not at the level to be a referee on the sport’s biggest stage.
“If that was a penalty, we should be playing basketball,” Kovac said. “Those kinds of fouls are penalised there.
The liberal weenies in the American sporting press who keep telling us soccer is important never bother to mention that soccer is the most corrupt sport on earth. Here’s a piece on the rampant cheating and game fixing from PBS.
Soccer has been tainted in the past by evidence of match fixing. But European law enforcement officials outlined a complex scandal yesterday that was enormous in scope and could be deeply damaging to the game’s reputation.
The European Union’s police agency, Europol, said an 18-month investigation turned up 680 matches suspected of being fixed across the globe. The games were played between 2008 and 2011. The scandal may have even involved qualifying matches for the sport’s biggest tournaments, the World Cup and the European Championships.
The probe cited links to criminal networks, including a Singapore-based crime syndicate. Europol wouldn’t name any of the suspected matches or individuals, but said it involved more than 400 people in 15 countries.
That’s in Europe where respect for the law is still kind of important. Imagine what South America is like. But, that’s the nature of sports. Sports with a high level of difficulty attract a different sort of player and a different sort of fan. Soccer is just a bunch of little guys chasing a ball around. The only way to keep it interesting is gambling and heavy drinking. Maybe a little hooliganism too.