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The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime Paperback – 13 Apr 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime
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Product details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Non Basic Stock Line; Reprint edition (13 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 077104139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771041396
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Declan Hill is an investigative journalist and academic. He specializes in organized crime and international issues. In the last few years, he has completed documentaries on the killing of the head of the Canadian mafia, blood feuds in Kosovo, and ethnic cleansing in Iraq. Hill has also won awards for documentaries on honour killings in Turkey, and the murder of journalists in the Philippines. He was a Chevening Scholar at Green College, University of Oxford, and received his doctorate for his study of match-fixing in professional soccer.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Hooft on 19 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book so I could explain globalisation and organized crime to my 12 year old son, and ended up buying half a dozen copies for all the men in my extended family. Hill has done his research and covers half the world. Somehow though he manages to make the stories of footballers, gangsters, and owners engaging, occasionally hilarious, and surprisingly moving.

In essence Hill suggests that globalization is a two-way process of us selling the rest of the world images of the good life, and the rest of world then buying into our games for status, legitimacy, and profit. Gamblers in Asia will no longer bet on their own games because they are too rigged, so now they bet on ours. The stakes are now so high that inevitably the money erodes the beautiful game.

And then he proves it.
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I have often said "the referee is bought" during football games to the amusement of many friends. It is funny, but I have always meant it as only half a joke; there is no doubt that the bribing of referees in football matches has happened at the highest level. Notable examples are the semifinal of the UEFA Cup in 1984, where Anderlecht had paid the referee, who gave them a dubious penalty and disallowed a clear goal to win the match, as well as the scandal of referee Robert Hoyser in Germany in 2005, as well as the bribing of referees in the 2006 Italian match fixing scandal.
All these cases are mentioned and examined in Declan Hill's good but somewhat depressing book about match-fixing in football.
Depressing because, as Mr. Hill himself mentions in the book, all football fans like myself would rather not know about this. We keep living in an ideal world, defending poor refereeing (even when we demand TV to help out referees, some people say that the game should allow for referee mistakes. After reading this: should we also allow for purposeful "mistakes"?) as well as idealizing players and the ideals of fair play in the game.
Surely most people involved in football are dignified and fair people, but we are still blinded to the fact that some players have known to be corrupt, as Mr. Hill documents. Lack of income, clubs without money, and the sheer funds involved in gambling make the possibility of match fixing way to real, even at the highest level. While he never definitely proves fixing of matches at the 2006 World Cup (and this is a weakness in the book as one cannot help but feel that he has stretched his argument), the insinuations are there that one cannot help but be sad about it.
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By Mario86 on 26 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book with an open mind and found it very interesting. It was recommended to me and although I roughly knew the subject matter I still couldn't put it down.

Like any billion dollar industry, you have to expect for corruption to be prevalent in soccer. The question is to what level and where is it found? I think most fans of the sport can handle it being found in footballing 'backwaters', far away from their most popular leagues and tournaments. Far East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe? Fine, as long as it's not in the biggest leagues and the World Cup.

But Declan Hill suggests that the World Cup was targeted and if you read his blog - howtofixasoccergame.com - then you would have read a few months ago that the Ghana goalkeeper from the 2006 World Cup Richard Kingson confirm he was approached by fixers during the tournament, something he denied back in 2006. Due to the figures involved and those targeted, poorly paid officials and players, and the lack of proper match-fixing prevention methods that the soccer authorities (FIFA/UEFA) use, not enough is done to tackle the problem, preferring to bury their heads in the sand. Or worse.

If you read this book in the hope to hear tabloid accusations of the biggest teams and players bribing each other out in the open then you might be disappointed. But if you want to hear of the process of how to fix a game, who is involved and what are the targets and tall tell signs, then this is a book you should read. In fact, I think anyone with interest in the sport should look to read this.
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5 of 5 Starts.
Being interested in sport and betting, "The Fix" is a must read. I can only confirm that Declan Hill really seem to know what he is writing about and backing up his material with several eye-opening references. I will not spoil the reading just mention that this book is a real page-turner. Everyone will learn something and be able to take something from this book. Declan Hill's "The Fix" and Andrew Jennings "Lord of the Rings" are truly the top-titles when we talk about the darker sides of our beloved sports.
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