Match-fixing rare in the Netherlands

A major report for the sports ministry shows that match and race-fixing in the Netherlands is extremely rare, with just 4% of players saying they had been approached to throw a game or a race.

In total, 732 (former) sportsmen and women took part in the survey. Nearly all – 87% – were involved in football.

Although just over a quarter said they suspected match-fixing had taken place within their sport, only 8% said they knew somone who had been approached to throw a game.

Asked about the most likely reason to cheat, only 20% said gambling was involved. The most common reason – given by 30% – was to stop a given team or person being relegated.

Sports minister Edith Schippers says the ministry is preparing a policy document to deal with the problem.

The minister decided last summer to set up the investigation, following on from a hotline she had set up for athletes to report bribes.

Real chance

Last June, Labour MP Jeroen Recourt told the NRC there is a ‘very real chance’ that Dutch football is embroiled in major match-fixing. The MP said tips point to corruption centring on the Jupiler League (first division).

Recourt claimed to have being given ‘multiple’ tips about match-fixing in the Netherlands but declined to give further information.

In 2010, European football body Uefa said it had not found any evidence of match-fixing in the Dutch first division, following reports two matches were under investigation.

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