I registered Fixball.com in 2009, immediately after watching the Barcelona/Chelsea European Champions League semi-final second leg because I was so appalled at the dreadful refereeing which in my view saw Chelsea denied FOUR definite penalties as well as several other probable ones. I should point out, as a former Leeds fan (a team which has seen more than its fair share of dodgy refereeing calls in its time and whose fans are not known for their generous attitude towards other teams) and the father of a Barcelona fanatic, I am not in the habit of cheering for Chelsea.
The domain remained unused until my dismay at the extent to which poor refereeing decisions in South Africa were denying players the chance to shine, the viewing public the opportunity to enjoy the competition and the game the chance to show North Americans what it is about football (I won’t call it soccer until someone explains why a game in which a ball is thrown from hand to hand is called “football”!) that has captured the hearts and minds of the whole planet, including those deluded Americans playing “catch”.
I like to think of myself as objective and would have been happy for the US to beat England in South Africa had they deserved the win. Fortunately, having watched the game in a bar full of Americans, the US were as negative, not to mention as poor, as England (albeit with the excuse of being underdogs up against one of the tournament’s supposed favourites) so a draw was the fair result even if a disgraceful one for an England team with such talent.
Hence the Fixball blog, which apparently coincided with FIFA opening their eyes to the extent of the match-fixing problem, but until FIFA gives refs the benefit of the same tv replays the rest of the world use to judge the rights or wrongs of every incident, the biggest obstacle (other than greed) to eradicating match fixing in football is FIFA itself, in my opinion.
(It shouldn’t be necessary to point out to reasonable people with sufficient intelligence to use the internet that everything on this blog is an expression of my personal opinion – what’s a blog if not someone’s opinion – but its never safe to assume the legal profession understands concepts of reasonableness but that’s a different blog.)