Monday, 18 August 2008

Is it possible?

Update: Fair enough. As I do not have facts, some part of this entry has been removed.

Do you know how it feels when something that you feel strongly about, something you are passionate about, something that you fight for, might end up to be nothing but a façade?

It was June 1998, and it was the World Cup Final 1998 in Paris between the defending champion Brazil and the host France, a team which failed to qualify for world cup in 1994. The score was 3-0 to France, 2 goals from Zidane who rose unmarked to head the ball from corners.

For those who watched the match, you would noticed that standing next to Zidane was Dunga, the ferocious Brazilian captain who looks as though he will bite off your head on the pitch. But all he did during those 2 fated corners were to turn his head and stare as Zidane headed 2 goals into his net. I don’t recall Zidane ever scored any headers there-after in his career.

My neighbour told me that ‘an agreement has been reached’. I was just a hot-blooded teenage football fan. I don’t know any such ‘agreement’.

Along the years, I still hear a bit here and there about such ‘agreements’ and how things can be fixed with money. But I still never buy any of it. At least not until June 2004, also a world cup year.

15 minutes before the game, this friend of mine called me and told me…

“Zewt, put your money on xxx, eat half ball. Then extra time, xxx will give ball, take yyy instead. In penalty shoot out, take yyy”

That match changed my perception on football forever.

From then on, I always remember my friend’s motto --- don’t let your passion damage your wallet. The bookmakers rule the game, he said.



22 comments:

Jed Yoong said...

I had the exact same feeling.
Look so you know..As if Chong Wei who can fly suddenly just erm...

Terra Shield said...

If it's true, then it is truly the saddest thing ever. A big disappointment.

vincent said...

Awesome conspiracy theory.

How far back do you think this went about, eh?

France 98?

How about England failing to qualify for USA 94 or Baggio skying his penalty? Or how about locally? Mokthar and the gang did well because of the same thing too?

Look, if you are a sports fan, you realise that shit happens. On his day, Tiger Woods can plant an 18 foot birdie to tie the game on the last hole. But when he plonks a simple shot into the water, do you wonder if someone paid him to do so?

How about Roger Federer? Best goddamn tennis player anybody had seen in a long time. He suddenly cannot hit a ball to save his life. 56 freaking unforced errors in 2 sets! UNTHINKABLE!

Sports is funny like that. If you are going to listen to your bookie, don't bother watching.

It will spoil your fun.

cc said...

It's really sad and ashamed if that's true. Totally defeat the very fundamental belief of sports. Let's hope it's just stress.

Maverick SM said...

Sports is about money. Tell me which professional sports such as football, basketball, wrestlings, etc are not about money? How do they pay hundreds of million pounds to players in EPL if the bookies are not contributing?

It's sports, the game of money!

Rashikaps said...

Sad but true.. Too much money riding these bets..
Cricket matches were being fixed too. :(

-=SiN=- said...

Well.. I have not watched a single Olympic show *sad eh~* to date except for news update the day after.

Fame vs money can be a hard choice to make...

myop101 said...

btw, i found a link....

http://www.badmintonplanet.com/content/view/539/26/

myop101 said...

anyway, anything is possible... which is why, what is the point of betting?

you are taking unnecessary chances and at the mercy of the bookies (unless of course you have been betting on michael phelps...hahahaa)

Huei said...

ahh..this is global boleh-ness! but at least he could've done better..the defeat was...really..beyond bad!

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

It's a bad defeat. The game does not look like one which is setup for China to win. Lin Dan is indeed strong. Anything could have happened. But I don't know, these things are real. Just that we can't tell if its really happening this round.

j or ji said...

aiyah..u kenot disclose what is yr frens answer and sms-ed susah la saya mahu percaya..

sekrang sudah rosak saya punya mood sama itu chong wei!

i must listen and agree to commentator no.3-vincent or else i will stop watching all the beautiful games in this not so beautiful werld.

sports is not just about money,its about escapism from the real world too.

Kenny Ng said...

It's all about the money. Anyway, he not really played on his standard, it's like a pro played with an armature. I was a serious badminton player too, what I see is something 'wrong' was behind him.

Edi神 said...

I played some pro footie sometimes ago.

I make around RM3k a mth LEGALLY,

ILLEGALLY I can make RM20k a night!

BUT

For top players the temptation is even much more BIGGER!

It would be very painful for anyone to accuse an athelete on the take especially when they trained so hard.

Top players usually will avoid being involve because once you started it, is hard to stop and you will be threaten with all kind of things.

Sometimes, this bookie go the extend to threathen to hurt your family as well. That's when usually TOP ATHELTE crumbled.

The reason why Top athelte not on the take is because their earn much more winning than losing...

SPONSORSHIP, ads & etc.

Edi神 said...

For Chong Wei, I would say he is not on the take; I daren’t not to say about others. I met him a few times through his childhood friend.

His lose in World Championship was because he just has a big fight with Yap Kim Hock, in fact most player cant get along with Yap. I would say that’s unprofessional of him because he want to make a statement to Yap that he wont play unless….

Ah Wei trained very hard and to say he is on the take is totally disgusting.

Let’s not judge other so that God will not judge us

Anonymous said...

it's better u find your facts before u discredit him knowing that so many ppl read ur blog. do not ismply give out unbiased opinions when clearly, what u said is not supported with facts here.

drumsticks said...

hmm.. yeah heard friends telling me about this too.. that the games are fixed... world cup even? thats BAD!!! they say even EPL wor... if thats so there's really no point watching it anymore.... btw, are you like secretly saying that LCW match was fixed as well? miennnnn... i dont know.. hate to think its true but its possible... however i'd like to think he lost because played terribly..

Anonymous said...

Otherwise how could a roaring tiger turn into a mewing kitten within a couple of days? Who wouldnt struggle for gold in a once in a lifetime chance? Next round, he'll be too old already! Who wouldnt fight tooth and claw knowing there's a million waiting? Unless there's 2 or 3 million or more waiting elsewhere? It's all about money, big money and the bookies have total control! This was probably the quickest final in the history of the Olympics!!!

Anonymous said...

care to reply to our comments mr. zewt???

zewt said...

Jed Yoong - someone told me... dont take things so seriously... oh well.

Terra Shield - we will never know the truth, will we.

vincent - there is a difference between being a sports fan and understanding the reality of the world. we can never be certain of things. for example, do you think oil price should be USD115 now? based on stats, it should only be about 90+. but why is it so high then? yes, i do not deny sportsmen will have their off day but then again, we are also allowed to have our own theories. by the way, fedex hitting 56 unforced errors....? geee...

cc - haha... it can be stressful no doubt about it.

Maverick SM - ah... finally...

Rashikaps - i heard india... it can be much worse... true?

zewt said...

-=Sin=- - it's not about money, it's about the love for money. and sometimes, i do believe that it's also about being a in a position where you cant choose.

myop101 - and the story died down eh? well, the trick is to bet against the crowd.

huei - haha... what's global bolehness ah?

j or ji - aiyah.... dont believe a word i say la... i merepek saja lah... sigh.

Kenny Ng - well, many see it as lindan was playing double himself.

Edi - yes, i do believe that family threatening part is as real as it gets. now... what is this about u making 20k illegally? :P

zewt said...

anon @ 19/8 1.22pm - fair enough, i guess i have to erase part of the entry. you are right, i do not have strong facts. certainly, talks at the mamak or coffeeshop and all can never be trusted. i guess only he will know... and probably those who choose to know.

drumsticks - i can tell u that for EPL, there are indeed some dodgy match. not all lah... some are still real. but no matter how much players are paid... bookies still rule. try to observe.... if in a match... 2 top teams meet and one team is on a bad patch while the other is on hot form... and then the papers keep hogging on the top form team... the bad patch team tends to win... and it's always a last minute goal.

anon @ 19/8 11.14pm - from a different perspective, sometimes, we can be placed in a position where we cant control... chinese call it... yan joi kong wu, san pat yau gei.

anon @ 20/8 10.26am - voila...