Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

On Monday, we noted that the director of Europol, which conducted an investigation into the massive match-fixing scandal that has called into question a great deal of soccer's recent history, was a little surprised that the plot infiltrated the United Kingdom. Europol's Rob Wainwright told reporters, "[W]e were surprised by the scale generally of the criminal enterprise and just how widespread it was. It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe."


It might also be naive to think that match-fixers left the United States untouched. Yesterday, Outside the Lines played video of an anonymous El Salvadoran player rhetorically asking why El Salvador was so compliant at moments in games that might have affected betting lines, and the program noted the possibility that a friendly between the U.S. Men's National Team and El Salvador in February of 2010 had been affected by match-fixers. The U.S. won in the 92nd minute (see the play at 6:25 in the video above) after a series of agonizing missed opportunities at the goal. The investigation is ongoing, but according to Outside the Lines, the U.S. Soccer Federation itself is not under suspicion of match-fixing. FIFA confirmed that a number of matches played by the El Salvador national team are under investigation.

Outside the Lines reported that U.S. matches, plural, could have been fixed: "Such fixes have permeated the game for years, including allegedly matches played in the United States." This game may only be the most obvious candidate among many.

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