Time to Look Forward: Is Finnish Football Ready to Prevent Severe Scandals?

Petri Heikkinen hopes for a bright future for Finnish football after several match-fixing scandals. Foto: Simon Pallesen
Petri Heikkinen hopes for a bright future for Finnish football after several match-fixing scandals.
Foto: Simon Pallesen

“We were blue-eyed, when the scandal hit us in 2005,” an honest Petri Heikkinen, who worked for the Finnish Football Federation for almost 10 years, said.

From 2005 and 2011, Finnish football was severely hit by match-fixing. AC Allianssii, a now disolved club, were struggling financially in 2005. The club was overtaken by Zheyun Ye, who already had been fixing matches in Belgium.

Ye brought in his own manager and a team mostly consisting of Belgian players. They lost 8-0 to FC Haka, and then it all began.

Nobody knew how to handle the Match-Fixing scandal
Ye and others involved were never charged. Lack of knowledge is to blame.

“The police didn’t know how to handle this. The exchange of information with Belgium failed. It died out,” Heikkinen said.

Belgian authorities have also been criticised heavily for their part in the investigation.

More on Finnish football: Can smartphones prevent match-fixing?

“I can’t say it won’t happen again”
Since 2005 Finnish football has been hit by four major match-fixing scandals. Mostly clubs with financial trouble, Tampere, AC Alianssi and RoPa, have been targeted.

“We probably didn’t do enough,” Heikkinen said. “ We had to learn about the background of match-fixing. We know much more about it now.”

“I can’t say it won’t happen again. It’s happening all over the world. It will probably happen again or maybe it’s even happening at the moment.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *