Betting Companies May Be Complicit in Match-Fixing – Ayariga
The Member of Parliament for the Bawku Central constituency, Mahama Ayariga is of the view that betting companies may be complicit in match-fixing in Ghana.
Ayariga made the claim on Citi FM/Citi TV’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
His remark is the back of the exposé by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, on the worrying trend of deep-rooted corruption in Ghana’s football industry.
Anas captured over 100 referees, match commissioners and top officials of the Ghana Football Association engaging in some corrupt practices and match-fixing activities.
“Sports is an industry. I just looked at the Deloitte and Tush report on the English League and they said that in 2017 the profit made was about 2 billion pounds. Ghana that has such a high reputation for football could be making hundreds of millions annually,” he said.
Within the last few years, dozens of betting companies have extended their operations in Ghana. Their operations are legal and are regulated by the Gaming Commission.
Their services are well-patronised to the extent that many of them have opened branches across the country.
And According to Ayariga, the proliferation of betting companies and the huge sums they stand to lose due to certain results, might be pushing them to illegally influence the outcomes of games.
“Once betting companies emerged and people started betting on almost every match from local, national and international, winning a match became crucial and so the categories of people who had an interest in the outcome of a match, moved from just ordinary owners of the team to some financial entities on the side.”
“So very often it may not even be the team that is taking steps to corrupt the referee to achieve a certain outcome, [but] it may be a certain bet company analyzing the bet on that match seeing that if a particular team lost, the betting company will be losing so much money so they would sidestep the team and find a way of reaching out to the officials to corrupt them to produce a certain outcome so that they can lessen their financial burden on the basis of the bets that have been made on that day in relation to that match,” Ayariga explained.
He, however, urged the security agencies to investigate such issues and ensure that Ghanaians are not shortchanged.
“So it is a crucial thing for which the security apparatus need to now sit up because this may not be something the teams themselves are doing. So this is a bigger issue and I believe that the law enforcement agencies henceforth should get involved,” he added.
Nyantakyi resigns, GFA to be dissolved
President of the GFA, Kwesi Nyantakyi who was also caught on video engaging some alleged dubious practices has resigned.
The GFA has also banned its officials who were captured in Anas’ video from all football-related activities.
The government also announced that it is taking steps to dissolve the GFA following the revelations of corruption in Ghana football.