Acting Against Match Fixing

Social Entrepreneurs Initiative: The Winners - Cansarp KayaThe Project

Cansarp Kaya

Political Science Student

Turkey

Our project can be summarized as blacklisting the football clubs and players which are found guilty of match-fixing. This blacklisting will be carried out in sports betting community. Every day, sports betting companies offer a list of games which can be betted on. Our project entails these companies to highlight the guilty teams, differently than the other. For example, the name of the sports club can be written in a different colour or it might have a different background colour. This difference will be recognized by the bettors and they will aware of the fact that some sort of corruption is going on in that team. Additionally, only sportsmen in a team can be found guilty of match-fixing. In these cases, the team which includes that sportsman in the squad can be marked differently. (i.e: by a symbol) A different marking system can be used in sports matches with a referee guilty of match-fixing.

Game Changing Factor

People are familiar with match-fixing scandals in their home countries but not from the other ones. Now online betting communities are offering sports from football to darts or games from La Liga, Spain to Vysshaya Liga, Tajikistan. This large spectrum of leagues and sports is helpful for us to inform nearly all match-fixing issues to the bettors. Additionally, only bwin.com had 2,606,000 active users (in 2010) so due to the large size of bettors, match-fixing scandals might be known by a huge number of people without any help of the media.

As a side effect, people might not place a bet on the leagues with match-fixing scandals. This would end up with revenue decrease for betting communities. Moreover, betting companies make license payments to the leagues to use their name and logo. If this licensing cost exceeds the decreasing revenues from that league, betting communities might cancel their agreements and this is a huge economical burden for the economically small leagues. Same thing can happen for individual sportsmen like pool players or athletes.

Lastly, highlighting must not be present forever. Match-fixer teams can renew their board of directors and match-fixer sportsmen can change their attitudes after having a legal punishment. So, highlighting must be done for one or two seasons after the offenders are sentenced.

Why I fight Corruption

In the mid 90s, I was a little kid but I was aware what was going on in the world. I was living in a city next to the border. I was always hearing stories about how people were bribing the officers to take something in the country or how expatriates paid bribes until they arrive to my country. In addition to petty bribery, the news was showing how businessmen paid huge amount of bribers to get their things done.

I was growing up, the times were changing but the things weren’t going any better. There were some reforms but still more than 30% of the people reported that they paid bribe “to at least one of nine service providers in the past 12 months”(Source: Transparency

International, 2010) This bad record in transparency and integrity was one of the reasons for me to change my direction into studying political science. Until 2011, I was not aware that match-fixing was a form of corruption. However, a match-fixing scandal in Turkey which was the biggest one in history is started to be investigated. As a Political Science student and a sports fan, I was curiously following what was going on. It was a disillusion for me that the manager and the vice president of my favourite team is sentenced by high criminal court.

My first concrete step to fight against corruption was attending Transparency International Summer School on Integrity and fighting against the match-fixing scandal was the first thing came to mind in the “Game Changer” sessions. That match-fixing scandal showed me that corruption can be anywhere and even your favourite team can be corrupt. So, I offered this project against match fixing as an attempt to raise awareness. Sports must be a symbol of friendship and fairness, instead of something that can be fixed with large amounts of money.