Match-Fixing Convicted Mario Cizmek Speaks Out to Warn Young Footballers

Mario Cizmek
The former football player Mario Cizmek talked about his life with match-fixing at Play the Game in Aarhus. Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/PlaytheGame

”I should have thrown away my football boots and done somthing else,” says Mario Cizmek, when he reflects on the time when he tried to solve his money problems by taking bribes.

The former Croatia Sesvete player couldn’t quite describe the feeling he had when he played the first fixed game.

As a sportsman, he always played a game to win. Until the day when they lost 2-1

”The journalists could have beaten us”

Eight of the players on his team were a part of the scam that handed the victory to the opponents.

Mario Cizmek explains that the players simply gave 70 percent instead of the 100 that everyone expects a professional footballer to do.

”Even the journalists could have beaten us,” Mario says when he thinks of the first of the six fixed matches he was involved in

Three teams involved

The match-fixing scandal involved 24 players from eight different teams. He says that everyone knew who was a part of the deal.

The games had no significance for his team because they had already been before the started to lose on purpose.

That made the team an easy target for the match fixers because there was nothing suspicious about a bottom table team losing matches.

”Don’t feel sorry for me”

Mario Cizmek did not come to speak at Play the Game in Aarhus because he wants people to feel sorry for him.

”I know, what I have done. I just want to warn young footballers not to do what I did”.

He already spent 47 days in jail after his arrest, and now he is facing up to 10 months behind bars.

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