Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips: Spot-fixers must be punished severely

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 10th December 2013 view comments

The reaction in the Crystal Palace dressing room to the spot-fixing arrests over the weekend was one of complete surprise.

Throughout my 20 years in the game, I've never been approached and never even heard players talking about match-fixing or spot-fixing before.

I've read about the incidents which have happened in cricket but didn't really consider it ever happening in football.

Booked: allegations players are deliberately getting yellow cards for money surprised Kevin

Booked: allegations players are deliberately getting yellow cards for money surprised Kevin

I've been with nine clubs during my career and have had hundreds of team-mates, too, so if it was wide spread in our game I would probably have heard something.

How far it extends beyond the five former players that were arrested and whether it is a huge problem in the game is for the authorities to investigate - but, if those arrested are guilty, they need to punished severely.

The FA have a good opportunity here to make an example of those found guilty to deter other players from being tempted into doing something similar.

Kevin Phillips
Quotes of the week

There is absolutely no place whatsoever in football for match-fixing or spot-fixing and the FA have a good opportunity to make an example of those found guilty to deter other players from being tempted into doing something similar.

They say money is the root of all evil and if lower-league players are being offered vast sums which they may not even earn in a year just to pick up a yellow card some players will break the rules.

But my reaction, and the reaction of the other players at Palace, was amazement that these players would be willing to tarnish themselves in this manner.

Cheat

This is a stain on their name which they will have to bear for the rest of their lives as to cheat in sport is one of the worst things you can do.

I know week-in, week-out we see players trying to win penalties and so on, but they are often heat-of-the-moment decisions.

Players involved in spot-fixing, though, have had time to think about it, know it's wrong but still go through with it.

I'm pretty sure the hierarchy and bodies which deal with these incidents will deal with it promptly and quickly, before it spirals out of control.

I've already mentioned that severe punishment can act as a deterrent but I think we also need to look at educating players on the dangers and what they should do if they are contacted or have suspicions.

I've read that in Scotland they've got a dedicated person you can contact if you ever get approached or hear people talking about it in the dressing room and I'm sure that's something we'll be looking at in this country.

In cricket they've dealt with it very well and hopefully the powers that be in football will be talking to these people and trying to put a system in place as soon as possible to put a stop to it.

Because one thing's for sure, it's not something any of us want to see in the game.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Wins on the road for Arsenal, Chelsea and City? See who Paul Merson fancies this weekend....

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League preview

Chelsea will look to extend their Premier League lead at Sunderland before their two nearest challengers meet the next day.

Van Gaal wants ruthless United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has called on his side to show its ruthless streak ahead of the match against Hull.

Merson's predictions

Wins on the road for Arsenal, Chelsea and City? See who Paul Merson fancies this weekend.

Home comforts for Moyes

David Moyes enjoyed a dream home debut in charge of Real Sociedad as a Carlos Vela hat-trick downed Elche 3-0 at Anoeta.

Rodgers: Reds at turning point

Brendan Rodgers has conceded he might be "favourite to get the sack", but says Liverpool have reached a turning point.

Features

How can Premier League teams stop Chelsea this season?

How can Premier League teams stop Chelsea this season?

Chelsea fell just short of Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race last season but they’re a different proposition now, Jonathan Wilson told Sky Sports News.

Premier League: Diego Costa has been so clinical for Chelsea this season it has elevated them to another level

Premier League: Diego Costa has been so clinical for Chelsea this season it has elevated them to another level

Having attended Stamford Bridge with a West Brom supporter last weekend, it was curious to hear him enthuse about the chance to see Diego Costa in the flesh.

Sky Bet Championship: Arsenal target Tyrone Mings is in fine form for Ipswich Town and is determined to improve

Sky Bet Championship: Arsenal target Tyrone Mings is in fine form for Ipswich Town and is determined to improve

Tyrone Mings isn’t your average footballer. In fact, there are times when the Ipswich defender seems to be on a one-man mission to confound the assumptions surrounding his profession.