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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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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Scary Oct. 21 2013
By Nancy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Defintitely makes me think twice when I watch a soccer game. I always wondered why some things seemed to fixed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting ! Aug. 20 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great research, author is also a very good story teller. Disturbing facts for any sports fan. You will never watch a game with the same perspective.
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