The game of football is generally regarded as biggest money spinner in the world of sports worldwide with a fan base exceeding more than 5 billion globally. The game which has grown in popularity with the staging of the first World Cup in 1930 has remained a major source of joy and excitement in virtually all homes across the globe. The game can however become a source of nightmare to fans and other stakeholders when things are not properly implemented. There are three major factors that will be considered in this article:
Match-fixing is a process whereby the outcome of a game is influenced before it is being played. This can be arranged by match officials, players, team officials and even the Football Association of the teams involved. This negative trend has been reported in Singapore, China, Brazil, England, Nigeria, Ghana, Italy and France. It is a bug which has eaten so deep into the fabric of football globally.
Olypique Marseille of France got stripped of their Ligue 1 title in 1993 when they were caught in the web of match fixing by the French football authorities. In the 2009 Nigerian Premier League season, relegation-threatened Zamfara United trashed fellow northern club Kaduna United 9-0 in the most bizarre result ever seen in the Nigerian Professional League. Coincidentally, it was the last match of the season and the result meant that Zamfara United survived the drop. Allegations of match-fixing were tabled before the Nigeria Football Association, but nothing tangible was done.
The match officials are the final authority in the game of football globally. They determine the winner or loser of a game via the use of their flags, cards and whistle. The referee as an arbiter is expected to be neutral, honest and fair to both teams involved in a football contest. The contrary is however the case in some matches played across the world, as some match officials have being known to collect bribe to influence the outcome of certain matches.
In some cases, dubious penalties are awarded to the favored team in the dying seconds of the match to ensure that the host team wins the match. This attitude has led to serious investigations and violence among fans and players affected. There have been cases where genuine goals are scored and deliberately ruled offside in the full glare of the public.
In one of the 2010 African Champions League matches played in Tunisia, Nigerian striker- Michael Eneramo scored a decisive goal via a blatant hand ball and the goal was allowed to stay. The Ghanaian match officials were later sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football.
Hooliganism is generally regarded as the bane of modern football, with most countries desperately employing various means to stamp out the monster from the various leagues. Russian football fans have a reputation of displaying thuggish behavior whenever their teams are playing. A football match between Celtic and Glasgow Rangers is usually tensed and often leads to clashes between opposing fans. There have been reported injuries and casualties in such encounters
Fans of Turkish Club side- Galatasaray are known to welcome opposing fans to their Hell! In England, Aston Villa and Birmingham City fans are notorious hooligans, especially if the result they expect doesn’t go their way. Italy and Brazil have continually battled with issues of violence with some positive steps taken by FIFA to ensure that violence is completely eliminated from stadium across the world.
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