Football ranks ahead of horse racing as the sport with the greatest reputation for bribery and corruption, with half of the public saying the problem is widespread
Six people were arrested on Sunday following a report in the Sun newspaper which claimed that an undercover reporter had filmed former footballer Sam Sodje allegedly saying he could get Championship players to have themselves booked for cash payments.
Now a YouGov survey finds that football is regarded as the number one sport for dodgy dealings, ahead of horse racing, more usually associated with bribery and corruption, and cricket, which recently also had a corruption scandal.
Almost half (49%) say that football in the UK has a very or fairly widespread problem with bribery and corruption, ahead of horse racing, which 48% believe to have a problem.
Cricket had its own corruption scandal in 2010, when a number of members of Pakistan’s national cricket team were convicted of taking bribes from a bookmaker for intentional underperformance. The story may have receded in the public memory however, as only a third (33%) now say the sport has a problem.
In the video which lead to the arrests Sam Sodje also claimed he could rig Premier League games and was even prepared to fix matches at next year's world cup. The general secretary of the Football Association said, however, that the problem "isn’t wide-scale, but... We are doing everything we can; we are looking at all measures.”