I just read an article in ESPN magazine about the prevalence of international crime syndicates fixing soccer matches (online article is here). Since I am not an avid soccer fan at all, this was the first I had ever heard of this, and I was pretty shocked. The craziest thing to me in the article was this:
and in an under-21 friendly, Turkmenistan reportedly beat Maldives 3-2 in a "ghost match" -- neither country knew about the contest because it never actually happened, yet bookmakers still took action and fixers still profited.
For those of you who are more avid fans, how widely-known are these practices? From the article, it seems like most of this is taking place in Africa, Asia, and Scandanavia; have they infiltrated the US scene at all? I feel like it would be difficult to see an MLS game take place with 7 goals, all from PKs, and nobody get suspicious about it. But when someone's offering you more money than you would otherwise make on a game, I can see why refs would be willing to do that.