10 of the ugliest match-fixing scandals in football history

Bernard Tapie, Marseille

In part one of a new series, Scott McIntyre has sifted through football's sordid past to unearth some of the stories that continue to leave scars on the world game

10. German ref makes some money (2005)

Former German referee Robert Hoyzer was convicted and sentenced to more than two years in prison for his part in accepting money to fix matches for a Croatian gambling-addict bar owner, Ante Sapina.

Hoyzer was found guilty of fixing multiple matches in the German second and third tiers, as well as high-profile cup matches involving Bundesliga clubs. He was reportedly paid a sum of €67,000 and received a television set for helping to arrange the matches, which involved the awarding of controversial penalties and red cards across 23 separate matches.

Robert Hoyzer

Disgraced former referee Robert Hoyzer

9. Marseille get stripped (1993)

This case involved Marseille winning a Ligue 1 and Champions League Double before being stripped of the former and banned from defending the latter, after attempts were made to bribe their opposition to ‘go easy’ on them – and a wad of cash in a suburban backyard was found.

Eydelie approached three opposition players with the promise of cash to take it ‘easy’ on his team

With Marseille set to play their Champions League final against Milan shortly after they met Valenciennes in a clash which would also secure them the French league title, midfielder Jean-Jacques Eydelie approached three opposition players with the promise of cash to take it ‘easy’ on his team, and allow them to avoid injury.

When one of the trio refused and informed the French authorities, the whole scheme was exposed and resulted in the club’s president Bernard Tapie receiving a two-year prison term. Eydelie, who later published an exposé of the affair, was banned from football for the same spell.

Bernard Tapie

Tapie led Marseille to European glory

8. Fake Togo take the mick (2010)

The use of ‘doctored’ teams has long been a ploy of fixers at less noticeable matches, and Bahrain’s clash with Togo in 2010 was a classic example. The Gulf nation stunned the Togolese side 3-0, with the team’s coach, Austrian Josef Hickersberger, expressing his surprise at their opponent’s lack of fitness.

When word of the result filtered back to the African nation, the Togo FA (said) they knew nothing of the team or any of the players

But when word of the result filtered back to the African nation, the Togo FA was aghast at the outcome and said they knew nothing of the team or any of the players.

It emerged that a disgruntled former coach, Tchanile Bana, had assembled the group of ‘fake’ players who received a payment of almost US$60,000 (£40,000) from an international syndicate, but the investigation eventually led to other officials within the FA.

Perhaps it was little surprise that the squad didn’t submit a teamsheet while in Bahrain, or that as many as five seemingly legitimate goals were disallowed for the home side.

Tchanile Bana

Tchanile Bana. Photo: Togo Breaking News

7. Italian shopkeepers mastermind Totonero (1980)

Named after the term for illegal gambling, the Totonero scandal of 1980 resulted in an almost unprecedented series of bans after Italian officials uncovered a widespread attempt to fix matches masterminded by 32-year-old greengrocer Massimo Cruciano and 45-year-old restaurateur Alvaro Trinca.

That’s where things were initially hatched in a widespread plot that resulted in bans that totaled more than 50 years

The latter’s business was often frequented by Lazio players, and that’s where things were initially hatched in a widespread plot that eventually resulted in 20 players and two managers receiving a collection of bans that totalled more than 50 years.

The most prominent among that group was the star of the World Cup two years later, Paolo Rossi, with leading clubs Milan and Lazio also relegated to Serie B. The scheme eventually unravelled when the two protagonists reportedly ran out of money to keep fixing matches, after several of their earlier attempts failed.

Paolo Rossi

Rossi (centre) in action during the World Cup following his ban