There are fears that foreign betting rings may be focusing their attention on the Ghana Premier League matches following the discovery of some ‘suspicious’ persons at certain games who admitted they worked for an unamed betting company, Ghanasportsonline.com investigations have revealed.
World football has for long been rocked by betting racketeers who have a lock on international soccer and have been making several million a year by fixing matches.
The juicy-dirty business seemed to have gained much popularity with more and more international matches been manipulated by syndicates who are members of a large cartel.
The sports betting business has been predominant in Europe and most particularly Asia for many years but has been fast spreading in Africa and other parts of the world as many international betting companies have sprung up in Ghana and has thus attracted the attention of illegal foreign syndicates into the country.
A source revealed to Ghanasportsonline.com that ‘Suspicious individuals’ were spotted at a Ghana Premier league centre during the week 14 and 16 matches and are believed to be targeting match officials, players, coaches and other influential members of the top flight clubs to influence matches.
“We all have interests in this betting business but I can tell you that we have now seen that other whitemen have joined us in staking matches in the Ghana premier league and they go to the centres”.
“They are not like us, they dont write many matches than we do but they do a ‘correct bet’ and place a lot of money on it, like in one of those league matches on Sunday, they both staked one match with a lot of money but they didnt allow us to see”. The source said.
Chief Executive of premier league side AshantiGold, Kudjo Fianoo shared his view on the menace and stated that the business has both imeasurable advantages and very bizzare adverse effects.
He told Kumasi-based Angel FM “Yes I have also heard about it and it was even been discussed on one of these media houses and I think it has both advantages and disadvantages”.
“All that we have to do is to tackle it at the right time and make sure it doesnt get down into our game to eventually destroy it”.
It is believed that, the syndicates who are owners, shareholders or serve as agents in these betting companies, usually manipulating the outcome of matches by influencing players, coaches and other members who have a direct impact in matches.
The Ghanasportsonline.com source added that “May be the GFA or the security intelligence can institute measures to get rid of these guys as soon as posible because they make so much money that they can even let players score own goals to fix matches, its all about money”.
Players of the Greece national team, the team manager in Turkey and referees in Hungary are all in detention awaiting trial for their alleged involvement in manipulating soccer matches. Illegal gamblers have seen their profits rise dramatically to 90 billion per year, which, according to estimates by the FIFA, matches the revenue of the legal betting market. The betting mafia threatens to control international soccer.
Last month, Uefa announced that it was investigating suspected match-fixing at 40 Champions League and Uefa Cup fixtures. It is understood those games largely related to qualifying rounds of the tournament in Eastern Europe and not any clubs in the Premier League.