Weekly InSight: How Organized Crime Has Tarnished the World Cup

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In our June 14 Facebook Live session, Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa discussed the opening of the 2018 World Cup and the many ways that soccer and organized crime intersect.

Silva and LaSusa began by talking specifically about corruption surrounding the World Cup, including allegations that this year’s host country, Russia, might have won its bid to hold the lucrative competition through bribes.

They also discussed how World Cup games have been (and likely will continue to be) targeted for match fixing schemes, in which players, coaches and referees manipulate certain aspects of play in order to fraudulently earn money through betting markets.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Soccer Crime

The many big-money businesses surrounding the World Cup and soccer in general have also been rife with corruption. For example, officials from across the globe have been known to take bribes in return for helping powerful companies obtain contracts to build the stadiums where the matches will be played, and to secure the rights to broadcast the games to millions of television viewers.

Silva and LaSusa also discussed how, beyond the World Cup, soccer has been used by criminal organizations for decades as a money laundering tool as well as a means of building social capital.

Watch the full conversation below:

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