Anorak | The Vink Tank: Arsenal, Liverpool And Football Corruption

The Vink Tank: Arsenal, Liverpool And Football Corruption

by | 4th, April 2008

vink.jpg“FOOTBALLER ‘fixed match to pay off gambling debt of £50,000’” announces the Independent.

Know that a footballer has admitted to fixing match. Who he is we are not told, only that he “has a Premiership club on his CV” and a gambling problem.

This narrows it down to around 4,500 footballers, although if we take in youth teams, youth team trialists and scratchcards, the figure rises to 321,987.

Other clues are that Player A ran up a 50,000 debt with a bookmaker and the bookmaker offered to write off the debt if the player got himself sent off and also persuaded three team-mates to get booked in an agreed game.

What the game was, how much the bookmaker profited by, who the bookmaker is or pretty much any other detail fails to make it into the paper’s “special investigation”.

Indy readers do learn that this is “a nightmare scenario for football’s authorities. It is confirmation that football in Britain is not immune to the corruption that has recently blighted other nations – including Italy, Germany and Poland…”

And the Netherlands. Or not the Netherlands.

In “I’M NO REFFIN’ CHEAT,” the Sun hears from Dutch official Pieter Vink, who officiated at Arsenal’s Champions’ League quarter-final game with Liverpool.

Vink denied Arsneal a clear penalty after his countryman Dirk Kuyt fouled Arsenal’s Alex Hleb.

Says Vink the Fink: “It’s ridiculous to say I made the decision because I’m Dutch. There are many nationalities playing in every team nowadays — Spanish, French, Italians, Brazilians — and it’s not an issue. It’s a completely ludicrous suggestion.”

Indeed, there is not a shred of evidence linking Vink to any conspiracy.

Says the Sun: “Arsenal were even more suspicious when it emerged that Vink and Kuyt come from the same neighbourhood and have known each other for years.”

Although there is no suggestion that they have ever played cards together…

Posted: 4th, April 2008 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets Comments (10) | TrackBack | Permalink