One of the most dominating topcis of Play the Game 2013 in Aarhus, Denmark, have been match-fixing.
And thanks to the former Croatian Football player Mario Cizmek, the participants have been able to get an insider’s view on why some professional football players decide to enter the world of match-fixing.
Mario Cizmek did. In this exclusive and unedited video-interview, he tells his full story.
Sports is the key to maintain a healthy population, now and in the future.
But according to Margaret Talbot from the International Council of Sports Science and Physical Education, very little attention and money is spent on sports in the nations of the world compared to other major expenditures such as education.
It has been predicted that inactivity causes an estimated of 300,000 deaths each year in America alone, and in the UK one in five men, and one in eight women, die prematurely from coronary heart disease.
Millions of diabetics in India
In nations with large populations these numbers are swelling, e.g. India, where the numbers of diabetics increase incrementally every year.
Today India is home to a staggering 62 million diabetics.
In China one in four adults is pre-diabetic or diabetic, which will be an enormous strain on the medical infrastructure in the future.
Nordic countries is taking the lead
The Nordic countries are among the most physically active countries in the EU, whereas the Southeastern countries are in the far other end of the scale.
In Sweden, 72 percent of the population is exercising regularly, meaning once a week or more.
The Finnish people are in a close second with the Danes in third place.
Scandinavia versus EU
In comparison Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have the fewest citizens being physically active on a regular basis with, a mere 3 percent, according to a study from the European Commission on sport and physical activity in the EU from 2010.
In total the majority of the EU citizens get some physical exercise at least once a week with 65 percent in all of the EU.
Not too surprisingly young men and women in the age group 15-24 are the most active of the EU-citizens, with young men tending to exercise considerably more than young woman.
An increasing part of the aging Danish population are being more active in their spare time. Ditte Toft, Danish journalist and analyst, gives her insight about the amount of elderly people doing sports and how it benefits the society.
Todays biggest topic at the Play the Game in Aarhus was FIFA’s first ever apperance at the conference.
Walter de Gregorio, FIFA’s director of communication, was the represent for the International Football Federation and among the topics discussed were the election of Russia and Qatar as hosts for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.
The famous FIFA critical journalist, Andrew Jennings, was present when De Gregorio took the stage and answered questions from the audience.
Accuses FIFA for lying
And Jennings was not impressed by De Gregorios statements.
”FIFA is a bunch of lying crooks. No matter what they say, they are in for the money. They are a bunch of thiefs.” Jennings claims.
There has been a big discussion in the sports world about the election of Russia and Qatar as hosts for the World Cup because of their laws and lack of human rights.
Russia passed a law this year that criminalizes “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors” and has been critized for this from the international society.
Racist chanting in Russia
And last week the Manchester City player Yaya Toure claimed that there was racist chanting from the Russian team CSKA Moscow’s supporters.
Jennings and other critics have expressed that FIFA should take this into consideration about Russias World Cup hosting. But De Gregorio said earlier today at the conference that it isn’t that easy.
“Everybody talks about racism. I completely agree that the problem should be adressed. But what do you do? How do you know that five persons in a stadium being racist are not manipulated. That would be very easy to do. How can you prevent that?” De Gregorio said.
But Jennings belives that this is empty talk from FIFA’s side.
”There’s is a problem. We all know that. FIFA could say to Russia: You need to change this because it’s important for us. And if you don’t, then we are not coming. The sport organisations like FIFA have manifestos and mission statements and all this shit where they talk about human rights and respect for people. But they only care about the money.” Jennings said.
”And then we have the homophobic problem. The thing is that they made a law about that gays can’t have same rights. It’s not just an attitude. It’s a law. FIFA should react and say that it isn’t acceptable. But they don’t care about the homophobic law in Russia. For them we are a bunch of liberals making to much noise. It’s not their concern.”
Disagrement on human standards
De Gregorio stressed that countries should have a human minimum standard. But stated that many Western countries also have problems. De Gregorio asked if USA could host with Guantanamo? He also belives that Qatar will make changes, now that the whole world is looking at them.
Not surprisingly, Jennings didn’t agree.
”But theres is a difference between these countries. In the USA you are allowed to demonstrate against Guantanamo. If you demonstrate againt the homophobic law in Russia and in Qatar, who have the same rule, you could go to prison.” Jennings said.
Jennings: FIFA is hypocritical
”Why should Qatar change? They got the World Cup. And obviously they can’t lose it because FIFA don’t care. FIFA is hypocritical. On one hand they have these statements for women rights and they support women football. And on the other hand they give the World Cup to a country where women can’t show their faces. Its a discrase. Its simple: FIFA is a bunch of hypocritical liars,” Jennings says.
You can also watch Andrew Jennings and Walter de Gregorio talking about other FIFA topics in the videos below.
Involvement in football was an essential factor in shaping the incumbent president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, political career. Daniel Chung, a journalist from Paraguay himself, gives you the full story in the video below.