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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spot-fixing

Spot-fixing refers to illegal activity in a sport where a specific part of a game is fixed. Examples include something as minor as timing a no ball or wide delivery in cricket or timing the first throw-in or corner in association football. Spot-fixing attempts to illegally defraud bookmakers by a player agreeing to perform to order by pre-arrangement. As such spot-fixing differs from match fixing, where a whole match is fixed, or point shaving, a specific type of match fixing in which corrupt players (or officials) attempt to limit the margin of victory of the favoured team. Spot-fixing is more difficult to detect than match fixing or point shaving. Spot-fixing is most associated with the betting markets of the Indian subcontinent where bets can be placed on individual deliveries in a cricket match. The advent of Twenty20 cricket is said to have made spot-fixing more difficult to detect as has the growth of Internet gambling and spread betting.

Examples

Football
Matt Le Tissier bet on the timing of the first throw-in in a match he played for Southampton against Wimbledon in 1995. The plan failed when a team mate who was unaware of the scam managed to keep his underhit pass on the pitch. Le Tissier was forced to quickly kick the ball from play to prevent himself losing money on the bet but neither won nor lost money after managing to kick the ball out after 70 seconds. He stated that he felt so silly about the incident that he never did it again.,

Spot-fixing in Cricket,
In the 2010 Pakistan tour of England it was alleged Pakistani players Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir bowled no balls at specific points as part of a conspiracy involving captain Salman Butt to defraud bookmakers. As a result, Salman Butt has been banned for 10 years, Asif for 7 and Amir for 5 years. The matter is now a criminal investigation.
Further information: Pakistan cricket spot-fixing controversy
In England, allegations of spot-fixing have been made against two Essex players, the Pakistani Test bowler Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield.

See also: Fixpot

Rugby League
There have been allegations of spot-fixing during the 2010 National Rugby League season match between North Queensland and Canterbury-Bankstown. It is alleged that Canterbury-Bankstown's Ryan Tandy was involved in spot-fixing the first score of the match to be a North Queensland penalty goal: observers noted that there was an unusually high proportion of bets taken on the penalty goal option for the game, and that Tandy's actions early in the game (including a handling error and conceding a penalty) would have facilitated such a scam. Tandy, as former player John Elias and Tandy's manager Sam Ayoub, have all been arrested in connection with the incident. None of the cases has progressed through the court system yet.
If indeed this was a case of spot-fixing, it was an unsuccessful one, as North Queensland passed up its easy penalty goal opportunity and scored a try instead.

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