East Asia

Hong Kong FA plans to legalize gambling to reduce match-fixing

Football is the most popular sport in the world and it could not escape from troubles. One of those troubles is a match-fixing scandal by people who want profit with gambling. In the 1980s, Serie A had big match-fixing scandal called Totonero. According to the police investigation, there were many parties who involved in this scandal, including big names in the club like AC Milan and Lazio.

Based on that scandal, many football federations which try hard to drive out match-fixing which associated with gambling. Hong Kong FA (HKFA) has their own unique way to reduce match-fixing cases. They are planning to legalize gambling.

“Match-fixing scandals are like cancer in football. Those cases are kept repeating here in Hong Kong football leagues, even though players, managers, and officials vowed to avoid match-fixing,” said Mark Sutcliffe, HKFA Chief Executive Officer, cited from South China Morning Post.

Since 2014, HKFA has been collaborating with Sportradar, a company based in Switzerland. Sportradar is an expert in identifies parties which are indicated to involve in match-fixing cases.

“Sportradar oversees all matches in Hong Kong football leagues and provides us with a weekly report if there are matches which indicated match-fixing.”

No wonder there has been many players, managers, and officials caught because they involved in match-fixing scandals and got sanctions from the police and also HKFA in recent years.

“We will open discussion with the government, talking about the legalization of gambling in football to reduce and even to kick out match-fixing scandal,” said Sutcliffe.