Money has always been foul play in sports

Money has always been foul play in sports

Lavleen kaur kapoor

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Money has always been foul play in sports

Foul play or cheating is an immoral and an unethical way of achieving a goal, be it in the sports arena, corporate field or in the educational sector. 

In sports, wherever foul play has taken place, money has been involved. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “There is sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” 

Often, sports players are driven by greed for money, which is why they succumb to foul play such as spot fixing or match fixing. In addition, athletes take steroids to enhance their performance in sports, in turn gaining fame and money. So, in every instance of foul play, money is directly or indirectly involved.

Lance Armstrong, a former professional cyclist born in the US, who had won the Tour de France bicycle race seven times, was banned from taking part in cycling events for life in 2012 for doping offenses.

Last year, the United States Anti-Doping Agency charged Lance Armstrong for using illegal drugs to enhance his performance. He was also stripped of all his Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong took illegal drugs to gain fame and money through cycling competitions.

It has been said that Lance Armstrong suffered losses amounting to Rp 4,156 million (US$ 75 million) a day after his sponsors abandoned him for misusing drugs.

Spot fixing occurs when a corrupt player agrees to play in a certain manner to defraud bookmakers. In match fixing, the entire match is fixed and corrupt players limit the margin of victory of the team that is favoured. 

Recently, in India, three cricket players were arrested for their alleged involvement in spot fixing. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and 11 bookies were arrested in Mumbai on May 16, 2013. According to the Delhi Police, the three players were promised to be paid up to Rs 60 lakhs for disclosing a predetermined number of runs in one over. Once again, money was responsible for foul play in sports.

A few days back, Dan Tan, a Singaporean, who is believed to the head of a global match fixing syndicate, was charged for his involvement in a match fixing conspiracy in football matches. 

Dan Tan, together with 44 football players, coaches, referees and football club managers, had manipulated 32 games across Hungary, Finland and Italy.

According to Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, hundreds of international football matches have been targeted by match fixers who are linked to crime organisations based in Singapore. 

If convicted, Dan Tan and other 44 suspects will be sentenced to jail for between 2 and 16 years.

Ever since sports and games came into existence, illicit activities such as spot fixing and match fixing have found their place. It is true that a man’s greed can never be contained, which is why people with immense desires succumb to illegal means of making money. No man claims that he has enough money. 

Even a millionaire yearns for more money because the desire for fame and riches is limitless. No matter how many match fixers and corrupt players are put behind bars, there will be more criminals that will emerge in the sports arena.

Hence, it is important to have efficient law enforcement agencies that keep a close watch on sports competitions to prevent criminals from misusing sports platforms for their own gains.

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