I’ve set my radio alarm clock to go off at 5 p.m. It’s resting on 91.9 FM, waiting for KCSB to broadcast what many Gaucho fans have been anticipating since the Locos’ eruption after Iro’s game-winning goal. While I will not be able to watch the game, I am ecstatic just knowing that I will get to listen to an outcome that is not in the hands of corrupt international referees.
After witnessing an unimpressive World Cup this past spring, I held the opinion that international soccer matches were simply decided by which team is better at taking falls. Some defender slides four feet from a striker and he instantly hits the ground, earning every penny of an Academy Award performance by rolling on the field in false agony. It was sickening to see the outcomes of games decided by such high subjectivity. However, after glancing at some illegal gambling scandals in the past few years that involved international referees, I have figured out that the players are not the biggest problem with the game.
On Feb. 12, 2005, German referee Robert Hoyzer was arrested after the German Football Association found him guilty of fixing multiple matches over the course of his career. Hoyzer admitted to attempting to fix a match in August 2004 between Paderborn and Hamburger SV in the first round of German Cup play. He supplied the names and organizations of those that paid him off, as well as other referees involved. A Croatian betting syndicate was found responsible for paying off Hoyzer, who was eventually sentenced to two years and five months in prison. Authorities from the Union of European Football Associations were also able to find ties between the syndicate, Hoyzer and another betting scandal in late 2004.
In a 2004-2005 UEFA Cup match between soccer clubs Panionios and Dinamo Tbilisi, British bookmakers caught on to an attempt to fix the game after they observed an unusually high number of half-time bets in favor of the Panionios team, which at that time trailed 1-0. After the Greek team scored five goals in the second half for the 5-2 victory, authorities became aware of the Croatian syndicate’s ties, but have been unable to find the evidence required to warrant any convictions. Both soccer clubs denied any involvement.