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The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime Hardcover – September 2, 2008
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“Declan has written a well-researched book of investigative journalistic brilliance. A book that deals with the unseen and often shadowy world of soccer’s match-fixing. . . . A world the authorities try to ignore; the effects of its existence swept under the carpet in the name of preserving the game’s image.”
–Shaka Hislop, ESPN soccer commentator and former English Premier League and World Cup goalkeeper
"Fascinating. . . . Part true-crime potboiler, part spy thriller, part academic discourse and part journey of personal discovery."
— Stephen Brunt, Globe and Mail
"A powerful investigative work…. The Fix is a fascinating read."
— Ottawa Citizen
"Sensationa…. Fascinating…. [Hill] makes a good case."
— Winnipeg Free Press
"An explosive book."
— Daily Mail
"Declan Hill literally takes his life into his own hands…. [He] presents convincing evidence that even games in the 2006 World Cup in Germany were fixed…. Read this book and you'll second guess every referee's dodgy call."
— Replay magazine
About the Author
Declan Hill is an investigative journalist and academic. He specializes in organized crime and international issues. In the last few years, he has completed documentaries on the killing of the head of the Canadian mafia, blood feuds in Kosovo, and ethnic cleansing in Iraq. Hill has also won awards for documentaries on honour killings in Turkey, and the murder of journalists in the Philippines. He was a Chevening Scholar at Green College, University of Oxford, and received his doctorate for his study of match-fixing in professional soccer.
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I gave it three stars because I had some insights into sports gambling and match fixing in other sports so the book never revealed anything groundbreaking. Also for his own personal safety the author never truly exposed the major fixers, simply stating this is a problem plaguing the sport. The book builds up to WC06 game between Brasil v Ghana where he stated his suspicions, but no solid proof was provided, so the book interesting but left me a bit unsatisfied.
This book has the feel of a bunch of magazine articles that have been spliced together. Repetition abounds. Mr. Hill travels all over the world without ever finding the focus of his own story. His writing jumps from topic to topic and back again without ever locking on to an aspect that the reader can latch onto.
The message of "The Fix" comes through loud and clear, though: all levels of the beautiful game are in danger because of the temptations faced by referees, players, former players, managers, boards, and even ownership. Apparently anybody can be bought by thugs from Asian sports betting syndicates. The fix may be in on any game you watch.
Maybe my high expectations are partially to blame for the fact that I was relieved to turn the last page of "The Fix."