SOCCER is falling under a cloud of suspicion as never before, sullied by a multibillion-dollar web of match-fixing that is corrupting increasingly larger parts of the worlda��s most popular sport.
Internet betting, emboldened criminal gangs and even the economic downturn have created conditions that make soccer a�� or football, as the sport is called around the world a�� a lucrative target.
Known as a�?the beautiful gamea�? for its grace, athleticism and traditions of fair play, soccer is under threat of becoming a dirty game.
The Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League (PSL) which has been for a long time been absent from the betting options has recently been added to the betting list in local soccer shops.
PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare confirmed that they were aware of the development.
a�?We are aware that our league has been added to the betting list. Ita��s a recent development. We do hope that the teams will not be tempted to do things that will tarnish the image of the game like match fixing. Other countries already have their local teams in their sports bet,a�?said Bare.
However, there is a general feeling among soccer pundits that the addition of the local teams in the betting options would lead to match fixing.
a�?Already I heard that a lot of people made a fortune when DeMbare drew with Shabanie Mine 3-3 in Harare a fortnight ago. The draw odd was rewarding a lot of money. There is high possibility that the draw was a coincidence but we are already suspecting foul play,a�? said one regular sports bet punter Nkosinomusa Manzini.
As Dynamos were the favourites, the odds for the team to win were more and as such the money to be won was less placed at $0,53, so it meant that for every $1 you bet, you would get an extra $0,53. You would also receive your $1 stake back so your total return was $1,53.
But for Shabanie Mine, both a draw and a win had 3.1 odds, so it meant that for every $1 one could bet was going to realise $3,10. So for someone who had placed $5 for a draw or a Shabanie Mine win he would receive $15.
In short, fractional or decimal odds allow you to calculate how much money you will be returned should your bet win. Simply multiply your stake by the decimal number shown and that is how much you will receive a�� including your stake.
For a regular sports bet customer Brian Ncube, the addition of local teams in the local soccer shops will encourage local people to watch the local league because a lot of people nowadays watch the game because they would have betted for the teams.
a�?You will find people who are not even fond of soccer watching matches from unpopular leagues just because they have betted for the teams so l think this will help increase the number of people watching the local league,a�? said Ncube.
However, despite the hopes of the increase of the popularity of the soccer matches in the country the 2018 league is still not yet being broadcast in any TV channel.
The Premier SocA�cer League floor for bidA�ders to subA�mit their tenA�ders for the meA�dia auA�dio-visA�ual meA�dia rights is still open.
A numA�ber of comA�paA�nies, inA�cludA�ing the naA�tional broadA�caster ZBC, had subA�mitA�ted their tenA�derA� docA�uA�ments to the PSL beA�fore the FeA�bruA�ary 7 deadA�line but they did not reach a consensus with the PSL.