I am Sheila Norman-Culp, AP’s Assistant Editor for Europe, who led the AP's “Dirty Game” multiformat team that investigated match-fixing in soccer.

I’ll be doing this AMA from 1500GMT to 1800GMT (10am EDT to 1pm EDT).

The Associated Press "Dirty Game" series found that FIFA, UEFA and other soccer authorities face an epic battle against the criminal gangs that are corrupting growing segments of the world’s most popular sport.

Europol has talked about finding 680 “suspicious’’ games since 2008, but AP’s reporting found that it appears to be much more than that. Sportsradar, a betting monitoring company, says up to 300 games a YEAR in Europe alone could be tainted. Interpol says at least two crime groups have switched from drug trafficking to match-fixing because it’s a better business model for making money.

Main story http://apne.ws/11DwaoD

Player who rues getting involved in match-fixing: http://apne.ws/X4TWSV

Unwritten rules of match-fixing: http://apne.ws/15v6No1

Referee of 5 suspicious games: http://apne.ws/12MJG91

Turkish match-fixing begins at the top: http://apne.ws/Za3lhX

Fixer gets revenge on crime gang by telling police about match-fixing: http://apne.ws/YtpSAi

Visit to Cambodian betting boomtown: http://apne.ws/11VaG6E

Proof: and http://imgur.com/MMaJ0LP and https://twitter.com/AP/status/303947074733486081

EDIT: Wow. I went an hour longer than planned but still have 30 questions unanswered. Sri about that, maybe we have to do this again! You can find links to all the stories under #APdirtygame on twitter. Thanks for all your questions. Am signing off now.

Comments: 420 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

damcho122 karma

What do you think of Blatter?

spiederman54 karma

I like how this question is dodged

snormanculp90 karma

glad to oblige

wlu5612 karma

glad to oblige blatter?


snormanculp5 karma

what i should have said yesterday -- this AMA is about match-fixing, not Blatter. Blatter is such a vast topic that he needs a whole 'nuther forum. Maybe ask him to come on himself.

Melnorme107 karma

Did you see that ludicrous display last night?

snormanculp93 karma

I assume u are talking re Arsenal. yes, yes yes. Not as gut-slamming bad as Saturday's disaster against Blackburn, but no fun for sure.

spiederman48 karma

How is the research going on the dinamo zagreb - olimpique game, where olimpique scored just enough goals to kick Ajax out of the champions league?

snormanculp42 karma

ah yes, where a zagreb player winked on a YouTube clip. plenty of suspicions, Ajax started howling immediately, no good evidence ever emerged. was about the same time in which Croatian first league (where dinamo played) was riddled with match-fixing (see our story about Croatia Seveste player Mario Cizmek) but dinamo never implicated in those trials.

Salacious-35 karma

What was the most surprising facet of the story that you discovered?

snormanculp70 karma

I was shocked at the Amazonian river of money that sports betting generates... the Interpol chief Ron Noble says several billion euros a year, an ex-FIFA official has said up to $500 billion a year. BILLION...! if you are a criminal mastermind, all you have to do is use some fixed games to deliver a tiny sliver of that and you will be wealthier than you ever imagined. That's about the yearly GNP of Switzerland, no slouch economy.

DrPoopEsq6 karma

This is the crazy thing to me, how many people are betting on what are ultimately not high level events. I would like to think that high levels of betting on one side of a small matchup could be observed and regulated.

snormanculp3 karma

until lately, no one thought to look for match-fixing in the soccer wilderness. but extremely low level games in Finland, Norway and Canada that were fixed proved that theory wrong. for fixers, best thing is virgin territory not already claimed by other fixers...

Bruschkov31 karma

I always wondered why these organizations mess with Division 1 or Champions League games. As these games have a very high visibility and it's a greater risk to manipulate there. Also I imagine the payoffs for players are a lot higher.

Is it because large bets can be placed there easier? Or is it a power trip thing?

snormanculp55 karma

You're right, criminal gangs are always trying to find that sweet spot between how low the players are paid and how much betting money is available. In many ways, that's why the Premier League is so clean, the high salaries there protect the players and discourage match-fixers. Champions League games, however, are quite a tempting target because there are plenty of cases in the early rounds in which one team is much more heavily favored to win. So if your team is going to be crushed by Manchester United anyway, this is a chance to earn tens of thousands of euros on your way out the door. Football in general faces the most match-fixing pressure of any sport, simply due to the vast number of games and the huge amount of money bet on it -- up to 90 percent of all sports bets are on soccer. Just because a game is division 1 doesn't mean its too high to corrupt _ just take a look at Italy's Serie A.

Juan_Bowlsworth27 karma

could I get a source on this ?

up to 90 percent of all sports bets are on soccer.

as an american soccer fan i really need to tell all of my friends this fact


snormanculp43 karma

It's interpol chief Ron Noble.

katzm26 karma

To borrow from Grantland's Brian Phillips, "How #*%!ed is the beautiful game?"

snormanculp54 karma

It's more &&#$ than top officials want to publicly admit. There are large areas of the world where football has been not only infiltrated by criminals but is being run by criminals. Last year in China, two ex-chiefs of its FA (football association for American fans) got 10 1/2 years in prison for corruption. In 2011, the national TV channel in China REFUSED to broadcast matches from the Chinese League due to widespread match-fixing. I can't imagine the reax here in London if Sky or the BBC refused to broadcast Premier League games...

kayelledubya19 karma

Is there any suspicion of fixing in women's soccer in the past Olympics? It has bothered a lot of people the way the gold medal game finished. It didn't make any sense at all.

Edit: I did mean semi final. My bad.

snormanculp23 karma

no, so far no reports of match-fixing in any women's games. in fact, some of the bettors AP interviewed in the illegal Cambodian den were at the time betting on live women's U-20 game between New Zealand and Japan just because they felt it was not fixed.

Numbuh417 karma

So...Juventus. As a fan, I just have to know. How involved are they in match fixing? They're always surrounding by rumors of it.

snormanculp31 karma

Hmmm. where to start? well, going way back, juventus reputedly bough the ref in the 193 European Cup semifinal, according to one of our top football guys... and they were pretty front and center in Italy's 2006 match-fixing scandal, where they were regulated to Serie B (2nd division), got 9 points deducted, got hit by a massive fine, got stripped of their 2006-07 league titles, got tossed out of the Champions League for a year. Their club president at the time was fined and banned from the sport for five years. Their current coach, Antonio Conte, just got back in December from a 4-month FIFA ban for a separate match-fixing allegation. As Premier Mario Monti said, maybe Italian football should just shut down for a few years to get rid of that corruption thing...

spamburglar15 karma

Do you think that this type of match fixing also extends into American sports such as Major League Baseball or the National Football League? I think of a game like the Super Bowl with all the money bet on it and I can't help but wonder if games are often fixed or the outcome affected artificially.

snormanculp40 karma

Super Bowl betting is big in the US but is tiny in relation to global soccer betting. And the Super Bowl has one big thing that keeps it from being fixed -- very high player salaries. Players in countries like Croatia are match-fixing sometimes for as little as 2500 euros ($3300). Major league baseball salaries and NFL salaries are too high -- and you need to involve too many players to ensure a rock-solid fix. In soccer, the goalie alone has enough influence to fix a game by himself.

rhackley15 karma

How has the series been received by soccer/football officials? It seems to expose some dirty laundry and gotten news and TV pickups across the globe.

snormanculp17 karma

Yes, we were very happy with the wide range of media that picked up the stories _ everything from papers in Thailand to ESPN and Sports Illustrated to non-sports outlets like Huffpost and Salon.com.

Buttwholefull13 karma

What is the best part about your job?

snormanculp24 karma

The sheer variety. I mean there are some things we can plan for _ we know when the 2012 London Olympics will start _ but you never know each day what will happen. Will an Icelandic volcano erupt and blow the travel plans of 10 million people to bits? Or maybe a meteor will hit Russia? i am constantly amazed

Wild_Cabbage13 karma

What is the highest level that you believe some form of match fixing has taken place? European competition? WC qualifying?

Where is match fixing most prevalent?

snormanculp21 karma

Well, our FIFA correspondent Graham Dunbar says that depends if you include the 1982 World Cup West Germany-Austria game, which appeared to be a deal with the teams. FIFA changed its rules after that so games at the end of rounds start simultaneously. More recently you have the 2010 WC qualifier between Liechtenstein and Finland ... and Latam types will always debate whether the WC 1978 Argentina 6, peru 0 was fixed, sent host Argentina into final...

chase2513 karma

How keen do you feel the leading officials are in world football are to eradicate corruption from the sport?

Generally I feel the public have little or no faith in FIFA to solve the issue when they believe that the top guys themselves are corrupt.

Also, do you believe the World Cup going to Russia and Qatar should also be investigated with a lot of the public believing these decisions were bought instead of earned.

snormanculp21 karma

I heard from a high-level former FIFA official that in fact Russia's football facilities and sports infrastructure for the World Cup bid were impressive. On the other hand, Russia is pretty darn low on the transparency indexes regarding corruption, that's for sure. the FIFA prosecutor has said he is open to reviewing any evidence he gets, so if you know something, pass it along I am sure that authorites at FIFA and UEFA don't want to be the ones in charge as their sport implodes. Ralf Mutschke, FIFA security chief, was in Kuala Lumpur today, trying to drum up pressure on nations to increase criminal penalities for match-fixing

Jerseygirl8812 karma

Which mobs were most involved? Turkish? Russian? Romanian?

snormanculp30 karma

Prolly the shorter list would be what mobs DON'T want to get involved with match-fixing... AP talked to Turkish commentators who said fixing allegations have cropped up every year for at least 40 years, and even Turkish prosecutors in court documents noted that mobs had infiltrated Turkish soccer since at least 1980... As for Russia, one illegal Asian betting den that an AP reporter visited wouldn't even touch bets for Russia's 2nd division (or Greece's for that matter). Even illegal sites know when to run! Italy's match-fixing has produced over $2.6 billion for the Camorra and the Mafia. And since the vast majority of sports betting money originates in Asia, Asian crime gangs are said to be intimately involved in fixing games.

aarinsane11 karma

I have to ask. Have you or anyone in your agency been approached or threatened as a result of your investigations?

snormanculp53 karma

Gotta give kudos here to Chris Brummett, our Vietnam bureau chief, who visited a Wild West betting boomtown on the border of Cambodia. Going around illegal Asian betting dens, talking with bettors about fixed matches, looking for hints of Asian triad involvement. Not a place that you could take TV cameras or where bettors would let u take a picture, that's for sure. And when I was filming a TV segment at a Zagreb stadium with a player convicted of match-fixing, all of a sudden we saw that a photog with a long lens was zooming in on us. The guy came over to see what we were doing, I made sure not to speak a word of English and our photographer Darko talked to him. After that, Darko said "it's time to go." When a photog who just got back from Syria says its time to go, u go.

caks9 karma

Do you have any knowledge of match fixing in Latin America? Specifically Libertadores Cup and Brazilian and Argentinian national leagues?

snormanculp2 karma

Bolivia and Venezuela have had several suspicious friendlies, Guatemala had 3 players banned in recent months for fixing

getslapped7879 karma

Please tell me the Celtic v Barcelona game wasn't fixed! I have to be sure...

snormanculp25 karma

hey even amazing teams lose sometimes! Plus this doesnt match the typical M.O. of the most successful match-fixers. When great teams lose, it always raises more suspicions among bet monitoring companies than when bad teams lose (our reporters visited some secret betting monitoring sites). A convicted midfielder who talked to us about match-fixing says it's always better to simply have bad teams lose once again -- criminals just pre-determine HOW MUCH that team will lose by and play those odds.

wlu567 karma

has there been any instances when you had suspicion BEFORE a match?

What do you think about the recent EUROPOL expose about the 380 european matches?

What does only 1 english match (liverpool v debrecen)(albeit english team not involved) say about how things are done in uk v thing elsewhere.what is it that they are doing right/others doing wrong?

snormanculp14 karma

Me and another AP reporter have visited a betting monitoring site that runs 31,000 games thru computer models to see if they may be fixed. Companies like that can often see if games are suspicious up to two days before a match _ ie they know if XXX amount bet on a Italian league game is normal or way off. They also keep tabs on 110,000 players, teams, refs and officials and give them match-fixing credit scores... they have seen where a suspicious player changes teams and infects a previously untouched team with his knowlege of fixing... Only one match in England reflects high premier league salaries that protect the players and the game. But bet monitors do have one person on their top 20 'to watch' match-fixing suspicions list that lives in the UK

snormanculp8 karma

also want to address Europol's 380 suspicious European matches... We already knew there were some 340 matches linked to Germany's Bochum match-fixing investigation. so finding 40 more games over 4 years is really not much. In fact, AP reporting suggests that's way too low -- Sportradar, one betting monitoring company, suggests 300 matches a year in Europe could be fixed, and their system has been described by one academic report on corruption as the best right now in the world

RupertE7 karma

Where do the criminal gangs get the action on? Betfair?

How exactly does it work? The players just play terribly when instructed? The criminals have money on the over?

snormanculp16 karma

for a blow-by-blow account of how it all goes down, check out these links: Player who rues getting involved in match-fixing: http://apne.ws/X4TWSV Unwritten rules of match-fixing: http://apne.ws/15v6No1

In terms of the betting, there's about five-six levels of betting in Asia, which leads from local illegal betting shops that deal in cash to next level, regional betting houses, still in cash, to next level, super betting sites, to online betting sites that take credit cards and are openly operating. Asian betting sites don't know their customers, so its easier to disguise large wagers as many small ones. European betting sites know their customers via credit cards, but criminals can use fake credit cards. anyone who knows about a fixed game can bet on whichever betting site offers the odds

SimplyJif7 karma

Do you see any problem/conflict with betting companies (such as Bwin) being significant sponsors of the game?

snormanculp16 karma

Betting companies are always going to advertise next to matches, its the smart operating model for their business. but it is interesting how they can be in severe denial about match-fixing. I went to a London betting conference in Nov, and a top representative from Ladbrokes insisted to me that 'maybe 5-6' games were fixed a year. he claimed that some betting monitoring companies have an incentive to say there are hundreds of possibly fixed games a year just so they would get contracts from FIFA, UEFA, national leagues. On the other hand, his own industry has a HUGE interest in not talking about fixed games -- who is going to bet if they think things are fixed? he did me a big favor though - AP reporters could not get into the monitoring sites until we reported his ludicrous comment to them.

Goef6 karma

Which team do you support and who is your favorite player?

snormanculp16 karma

Well, i live and work now in north London, so i would be crucified if I didnt keep up with Arsenal (condolences will be accepted here today). Favorite player, hmm. got two. Fernando Torres because i was living in Zurich during Euro 2008 (he was electric then) and he looks just like my hubby did years ago with his freckles; Robin van Persie now because the man just dances on the field, a joy to watch

Goef3 karma

Fernando Torres is my favorite too, and believe me he will be electric again! and another question, what is the most memorable match you have ever watched live at a stadium?

snormanculp18 karma

At a family level, I brought my ten-year-old daughter and her soccer team to see the American women play at Giants stadium in NJ when the US hosted the Women's World Cup in 1999... Mia Hamm and her buddies really inspired a generation.

jdotliu6 karma

My dad used to bet on soccer matches with his buddies frequently, and pointed out how he would know if a match is fixed or not depending on the players' reactions during a penalty kick. Apparently, whenever a player looks backwards before taking a penalty, he is always looking for a signal as to whether or not he is allowed to make the goal. Is there any merit to this conspiracy theory that my dad and his friends developed?

snormanculp2 karma

that sounds like a great topic to investigate though. why limit it to NFL? why not college? the problem with that I think is that too many people _ players, coaches, etc _ would have to be 'in the know' to effectively do that...

habdragon085 karma

Where are most of these criminal organizations based? What country? Are international matches ever fixed(England vs San Marino or something) or just club matches?

snormanculp16 karma

Actually 'friendlies' between two nations are a prime target for fixers, because football associations can hire agencies (some of which later turn out to be fronts for fixers) to arrange the games and give a cut of the proceeds (or even bribes) to corrupt FA officials Just imagine, in a friendly you can get world-class talent for free and they can generate gobs of TV revenues. some suspect friendlies in recent times: Nigeria-Argentina 2011, one or more South Africa friendlies right before the World Cup, Bolivia-Latvia 2011, Bulgaria-Estonia 2011, several Latam games involving Venezuela and Bolivia. These are all men's games, so far no whiff of suspicion among women's friendlies

erifhtiwklaweriF4 karma

2006 World Cup - Italy v. USA in Group Stage.

Damarcus Beasley scores a goal late in the second half to take the lead over the Italians, but it gets called back because Brian McBride was in offside position, even though he never plays or attempts to play the ball. I can't help but be suspicious of Italy since the entire Serie A scandal - this was the only game that Italy didn't win the whole Cup. This is all I can think about since the match-fixing investigations have started.

snormanculp6 karma

hey, go dig into it. the world needs obsessed fans to keep the sport clean

etchgtown4 karma

Do you feel like, historically, there has been more corruption in Italian leagues, or is it more a matter of the Italian investigations being more frequent and successful in revealing the corruption and making cases stick?

snormanculp10 karma

There's no question that Italy has had repeated, major match-fixing instances at least since 2005. And each case seems to bring new amazing allegations. My all time favorite is the goalie who wanted to fix a game, so he drugs the water bottles of his teammates to play poorly. they stink, lose the game, and one even crashes his car afterward. Since Italy takes drunk driving quite seriously, the driver gets a blood test which shows he is full of sedatives, and the whole fixing operation is unveiled. can't make this up. I give plenty of kudos to Italian prosecutor Roberto Di Martino but the country has had plenty of corruption issues in all walks of life .... , so i dont think we can just credit good prosecutors for us hearing about italian match-fixing

Jerseygirl884 karma

It's amazing how deep seeded the corruption is in the sport. Do you know how much money was made globally from the match fixing (an estimate)??

snormanculp11 karma

FIFA has estimated between $5 billion and $15 billion a year. not chump change

OscarWhisky4 karma

I think it's more spot-fixing than match-fixing, right? Or at least the higher up the leagues go, the more it deviates towards spot rather than match.

snormanculp11 karma

if you got any knowlege of this, let FIFA/UEFA/the national leagues know. AP took a deep dive into fixing in Croatia's first division, (let me tell u google translator is a mess with croatian court transcripts) and found both match and spot fixing in the same games. one sports expert, David Forrest of University of Salford, says that's a great way for gangs to increase revenues, you get to place two-three-four bets on the same fixed game

Rams4life4 karma

Which league do you believe to be the most corrupt? Even if it isn't one you've investigated.

snormanculp7 karma

impossible to say. too many candidates

FiachB73 karma

Is it anyway connected to the fixed cricket games and why is this not getting as much coverage considering soccer is a much larger sport?

And do you think the Ireland v France world cup 2010 qualifier was fixed, where Thiery Henry blatantly hand-balled to knock Ireland out of the competition?

snormanculp10 karma

that was one darn obvious handball but absolutely no suggestion of fixing in that. as we say in our Dirty Game series, referees and players can perform poorly for all sorts of legitimate reasons. Gotta say, American fans could never stomach bad ref calls like that, that's why they love NFL instant replay. the concept that such a bad call could knock a team out... it's why the NFL had to end its referee lockout...

foodel3 karma

At what point do you as an organisation decide that you will look into that matter.

How did this all start - or better yet, what event triggered this investigation?

snormanculp8 karma

We noticed that AP was doing about a dozen match-fixing spot stories around the world a month.... but it was country by country. This trial, that arrest, this investigation. It was time to look at the whole of the sport, something that fits an international news agency better than a local or national paper. I had been interested in match-fixing since i covered FIFA for AP in 2007-2008 and did a story when they first set up their EWS monitoring site. got promoted to London, distracted by volcanos and a wonderful London Olympics, but began interviewing people last june.

Lancey3 karma

No question, but thanks for doing what you do. This kind of high quality investigative journalism is what the free press is all about.

snormanculp7 karma

very kind to hear. are we related? jk. hope you got a chance to read, watch or hear all the eight Dirty Game stories, three sidebars, online video, broadcast video, radio reports, etc.

kleptophobiac3 karma

Do you think that the punishment for participants should be more severe the further up the ladder the investigation goes? That is, should the first-year first-teamer found to have been involved be given less of a penalty than the national team star? Or should a message be sent with uniform penalties for even the least involvement?

snormanculp6 karma

Hmm. it's kinda like doping in that you need zero tolerance. That said, its clear that match-fixers target players like lions on the savannah, picking off the young (easy to manipulate) the old (nearing the end of their employment, fearing what's next) and the weak (those with betting problems or financial difficulties. Young players lured into fixing by older players should get lesser sentences if it's found that they were forced or pressured into it. Older players (or refs hitting age limits) should get harsher penalties because they absolutely knew what they were doing. national stars who fix bring shame upon an entire nation but the fixing penalities should be the same no matter what the league

abaasm3 karma

How do you stop match fixing?

snormanculp7 karma

whoever figures that out gets a nobel peace prize

snormanculp6 karma

sri don't mean to be flippant. You go for zero tolerance, you establish anti-match-fixing officials in every national league, you teach players and refs and soccer officials how to recognize approaches by fixers, you increase criminal penalities for fixing, you don't stop investigating serious allegations just because a referee has retired 'from the football family,' (FIFA) you protect whistleblowers better. Italian defender Simone Farina told police about being approached by a fellow player to fix, and that effectively ended his playing career and made him a pariah in italy...happily months and months later Aston Villa made him a 'community coach'

BreakingNoose3 karma

Are there times when two different groups try to fix a match with conflicting goals?

snormanculp2 karma

This was a significant problem in Asia, and its a terrible business model when two crime gangs are trying to fix the same game. That propeled at least Asian gangs to seek out more European games, which were considered several years ago to be much cleaner. One monitor told me about a match in which his company's spotters at the game saw thugs from two different crime gangs shouting with the ref at halftime. Only one side won. (think the ref in that case had a death wish or was just blinded by greed)

goliath_franco3 karma

Can you describe the 'anatomy' of a fixed match?

How does it start? Does someone from the criminal organization approach a player in a shady alley? Do players that fix games do so repeatedly? Do multiple players on a team need to be bought to pull off the fix? And finally, how do the criminal organizations actually make money off fixed games? Presumably by placing the bets they've arranged, but don't the people taking their bets get suspicious?

snormanculp7 karma

What i'm going to do is give u some link to our stories that explain all this. ironically, match-fixers often groom players just like pedophiles groom targets, according to a major 2012 study on sports corruption. Players can be seduced into fixing by other coaches or players or agents. Or they can be ordered to fix by their corrupt soccer club bosses. Or they can have no idea a game is fixed because the refs were bought off instead. so many ways to match-fix....!

Main story http://apne.ws/11DwaoD

Player who rues getting involved in match-fixing: http://apne.ws/X4TWSV

Unwritten rules of match-fixing: http://apne.ws/15v6No1

Don_CarloG2 karma

What do you have to say about one of the most outrageous things that happened in the last decade: Lyon 7-1 Zagreb leaving Ajax out of CL? Everyone seems to have forgotten about that thing and no one ever really talked or investigate that game further.

snormanculp8 karma

that is certainly the one game that Europeans came away thinking must be fixed. it would be a great subject for a magzine piece. maybe when everyone in that game has retired, more might come out.

reallydumb4real2 karma

How in the world would FIFA (or possibly another organization) go about fixing this or at least starting to fix it? Is the problem already too deep that anything other than a complete scrub of all teams and parties involved would fail? And could the sport even survive something like that or would it be best for the game if everyone just operated like business as usual?

snormanculp11 karma

FIFA's latest anti-match-fixing project is to educate players and refs about the problem. A noble idea, for sure, one that no one can find fault with. but it's kinda like warning your kids not to play with matches when your kitchen is already on fire and that may burn down your whole house. Time to get out the big firehose. Let's not forget how doping has driven sponsors and TV revenues away from cycling or even track. And soccer authorities also have another problem -- their own officials may be the ones driving the fixing. A major sports corruption report last year even gave that a label "chairman-to-chairman" fixing. in turkey last year, 93 people went on trial for match-fixing, and only 14 were players. I think the best model to emulate is germany's, its FA has a omsbudman where players, refs, anyone can call to report fixing worries anonymously.

fligs2 karma

I have been surprised how fast that news disappeared in German media!

Do you think there is a way to ban betting on matches in lower divisions? Clearly some players can never make it to the top so it actually is quite profitable for them because they have nothing much to lose compared to successful players.

Thank you for the AMA this is really interesting

snormanculp9 karma

interesting assumption. lower league players more corrupt? i would not go there. When I was talking to Croatian midfield mario cizmek, who has been convicted of match-fixing, he took great pains to emphasize the difference between what he and his teammates were doing and what wealthy Italian Serie A first leaguers were doing. He says he got into match-fixing because no one on his team had been paid for 14 months, he was like Robin hood, taking money from the wealthy to put food on the table for poor soccer families. he considered the Italian match-fixers very greedy, since they were getting big salaries and just were doing match-fixing to get even more money. I would not not not not make that assumption about lower league players

AlSweatshirt2 karma


snormanculp2 karma

ESPN online did pick up the AP Dirty Game story... and they did a video piece after Europol cited 680 suspicious games. but on that video piece they got an Italian soccer commentator who thought this was being overblown...

stugautz2 karma

Did your investigation have any overlap with Declan Hill's investigations in the past?

snormanculp2 karma

Declan is a pioneer, kudos to him. Suggest everyone interested in this topic read his book "The Fix: Organized Crime and Soccer"

ReanimatedX2 karma

Was the Qatar bid for hosting the 2022 world cup involved in bribery of any kind?

snormanculp2 karma

Sri, this AMA is on match-fixing. The FIFA decision to give the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively is a whole separate (and vast) discussion.

pisdrunxrich1 karma

Who's going to win the European Cup?

snormanculp5 karma

Going to leave all game analysis to commentators and Match of the Day boys. I'm just all about corruption.

TestCommentPlsIgnore1 karma

I’ll be doing this AMA from 1500GMT to 1800GMT (10am EDT to 1pm EDT).

Just a little pet peeve... EDT is Eastern Daylight Time which means the Eastern Time Zone during Daylight Saving Time.

EST on the other hand means Eastern Standard Time which means the Eastern Time Zone outside of Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time in much of the Eastern Time Zone runs from the second Sunday in March at 2 AM to the first Sunday in November at 2 AM.

As such, we are currently in standard time so saying EDT is incorrect. To be completely precise you should say EST but to be honest my preference is for people to just say Eastern when you mean Eastern.

snormanculp2 karma

busted. Eastern Standard Time is right.

Cerveza87-4 karma

I am Sheila Norman-Culp, AP’s Assistant Editor for Europe, who led the AP's “Dirty Game” multiformat team that investigated match-fixing in football


snormanculp7 karma

ahh, you say football, i say tomato. Let's call a truce. Otherwise Americans in this chat will start talking about Alabama