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The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime [Paperback]

Declan Hill
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 13 2010
The Fix is the most explosive story of sports corruption in a generation. Intriguing, riveting, and compelling, it tells the story of an investigative journalist who sets out to examine the world of match-fixing in professional soccer.

From the Introduction
Understand how gambling fixers work to corrupt a soccer game and you will understand how they move into a basketball league, a cricket tournament, or a tennis match (all places, by the way, that criminal fixers have moved into). My views on soccer have changed. I still love the Saturday-morning game between amateurs: the camaraderie and the fresh smell of grass. But the professional game leaves me cold. I hope you will understand why after reading the book. I think you may never look at sport in the same way again.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime + Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport
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Product Details

Product Description

Quill & Quire

One of the more mystifying aspects of soccer is how a low-contact sport that so disdains physical toughness has attracted a fan base whose violent criminality far exceeds that of those who worship, say, the gore-smeared titans of rugby or hockey. Everyone’s familiar with the hooliganism that can attend a European match: the shouted slurs, the drunken punch-ups, the wanton vandalism. But a much more covert assault on the integrity of soccer, and one that’s ultimately more threatening to its future, is the match-fixing conducted by powerful gambling syndicates. In The Fix, Declan Hill, a journalist and documentarian who specializes in organized crime, spends four years attempting to infiltrate the cabals who bribe or bully players, referees, and managers into throwing games. He traverses four continents, and investigates everything from an under-14 girls’ team in Kenya to the kingpins in Thailand who allegedly fixed the World Cup. Along the way, he becomes acquainted with sinister men carrying monikers like “The Short Man” and “Mr. Christmas.” He learns of players being bought with Rolexes, yacht cruises, and exorbitantly priced call girls (or else murdered for their lack of co-operation). And he comes to fear that with the explosion of online betting, leagues the world over will soon be utterly discredited by corruption. All of this should be enthralling, but Hill’s writing teems with clichés, redundancies, infelicitous sentence constructions, and ramshackle metaphors. And there is, too, a lamentable dearth of telling detail. Oxford University, for instance, is “full of interesting history” and “fascinating people.” Fellow journalists from ESPN are “very, very nice guys.” A man in a courtroom is “Lebanese-looking.” It would be unfair to expect all sports writing to attain A.J. Liebling or Roger Angell levels of sublimity. But in a book whose subjects are chiefly mobsters and athletes – two notoriously inarticulate groups – there’s an onus on the author to make up the eloquence deficit with some choice words of his own. Here, that responsibility is rarely met. Die-hard fans will be unfazed by the inadequacies mentioned above, and will be satisfied by the rough tour through their favourite sport’s underbelly. But for those who are relatively indifferent to the charms of soccer, but never indifferent to the charms of a well-turned phrase, it’s best to seek one’s reading pleasure elsewhere. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Declan has written a well-researched book of investigative journalistic brilliance. A book that deals with the unseen and often shadowy world of soccer’s match-fixing. . . . A world the authorities try to ignore; the effects of its existence swept under the carpet in the name of preserving the game’s image.”
–Shaka Hislop, ESPN soccer commentator and former English Premier League and World Cup goalkeeper

"Fascinating. . . . Part true-crime potboiler, part spy thriller, part academic discourse and part journey of personal discovery."
— Stephen Brunt, Globe and Mail

"A powerful investigative work…. The Fix is a fascinating read."
Ottawa Citizen

"Sensationa…. Fascinating…. [Hill] makes a good case."
Winnipeg Free Press

"An explosive book."
Daily Mail

"Declan Hill literally takes his life into his own hands…. [He] presents convincing evidence that even games in the 2006 World Cup in Germany were fixed…. Read this book and you'll second guess every referee's dodgy call."
Replay magazine

From the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A groundbreaking, highly influential book. Nov. 28 2009
By Marc
Declan Hill has blown open the door on a world of corruption that reaches the highest levels of world soccer. As a direct result of his investigation, European football associations are finally waking up to the real threat match fixing poses to the their game. Whether or not their efforts will go far enough remains to be seen. Regardless, the revelations Hill makes cannot be ignored. His book has already made an impact. This is essential reading for anyone who cares about soccer or sport in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Fans of Professional Soccer Nov. 29 2009
By I. Bell
Part travelogue, part journalism, all of it thoroughly absorbing. I read the book in one sitting, I could not bear to put it down unfinished. A cautionary tale of what happened in Asia and what could happen in Europe if FIFA does not wake up. If you care about soccer, you should read this book.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
WOW will never be able to watch a soccer game again without wondering if a bad play was intentional or if a bad call was intentional

amazing book would recommend that every soccer fan read, actually any sport fan
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3.0 out of 5 stars Badly needed editing Jan. 30 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The information in the book was interesting, but it was presented in such a haphazard, anecdotal way that it was hard to follow. It might have been a bit better if someone who was actually an investigative journalist (I believe the author is a statistician) edited or collaborated with Hill and made the whole thing more systematic & readable.
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