Monday, September 1, 2008

The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime by Declan Hill

Driving here I was listening to NPR (otherwise it's pretty much countree music on the dial) and found the interview with this guy fascinating.

He alleges that world soccer is very much a rigged game and that there are some very powerful gangsters who have the ability to rig games, both club and national games - think 2006 World Cup.

This is big.

One quote from the interview stuck in my head - Declan was talking about there being an invisible curtain, and most people have no idea that it is there.

Once you cross it, you realize that the world is upside down, that the public officials who piously proclaim the evils of corruption are on the take, that the admired athletes are being paid money to throw games away, that what you perceive as reality is in fact a sham, an illusion.

The more I live, the older I get and the more I realize that there are two worlds out there - one for the 99% of the population, to keep us safe, docile and happy working our 9 to 5 (well, 7 to 9's in this economy), and the other the real, unsafe, strange and terrifying world with its own rules, customs and dangers.

Perhaps when people realize that this corruption, this system exists on the level of international sports, up to the World Cup level, then perhaps they will start question their reality around them - the politicians, the forces of "public good", the "public servants".

If you are (lucky?) enough to perceive it - to get across that "invisible curtain" - my advice to you is, be very careful and alert.

The rules just changed on you.

And me?

I am off to party with my local Congressman this friday; he will have hookers and coke (although it is meth country here, there are limits). It's his coming out party.

Have a nice day, folks.


Anonymous said...

As an amateur soccer coach I can honestly say nations with Federations worth hundreds of millions of dollars make elementary 'mistakes'. Three possibilities; too much authority vested in too few people, sponsorship money dictating who gets picked (Brazil) or plain out and out corruption. Don't miscount the simple negligence of Man.

I might join you in your party and bring my drink driving Australian High Court judge friend who just happens to be a pedophile.

Anonymous said...

It seems like once you first disconnect (i.e., see and pass through the 'invisible curtain') all you can do is keep disconnecting more and more.

I've found I'm too disconnected and the only way to find true reality (for me) is to be alone, way back deep in the forest, totally away from the illusion of society (i.e., reality that's presented to us). Just Man and Nature.

AmericanGoy said...

Great comments niko + anonymous.

M.Ferguson said...

The issue of corruption during the recent World Cup does seem to surprise or even shock. Major sporting events have always attracted controversy, such as the doping scandals that blighted some events in the most recent Olympic Games (not including Beijing). As for the soccer World Cup, this is just another notch on its belt of dishonour. From Mussolini’s rigging of both the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, to Maradona’s emission from USA 94 for testing positive for cocaine, this famous tournament has much politics entwined within its core as any other international corporation.
As regards to the comments about the 1% negative population of the world, I totally agree and accept this is a true fact. Though we must not act shocked when a scandal like this occurs on a international scale, as this 1% population exists within every society and culture.