Corruption and Its Impact on Gameplay

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Corruption in sport is understood as any illegal, immoral or unethical activity that attempts to deliberately distort the outcome of a sporting contest, usually for the gain for someone(s) involved in that activity. Corruption in sport was initially meant to refer to any action that aims to earn money by distorting the outcome of sport contests by means of bribery/throwing a game for money. Nowadays, this has extended to other unethical behaviors such as distorting the allocation of mega-sporting events, biased decisions made by governing bodies and fixing bet-related matches. Corruption scandals have increased in modern sports, even in Australia. With growing money inflow and the globalization of sport, corruption can now damage all aspects of the sporting business.

Some examples of corruption in sport are featured below that will be useful in understanding and preventing this corruption.

Referee Match Rigging in Italian Football Serie A

Rigging a match plays a crucial role in its outcome. For example, in the 1994-1995 championship, one minute before the end of the Juventus-Brescia match, the referee offered a non-existing penalty to Juventus. In Italian Serie A, the assignment of referees was very complex and highly discrete. In 2006, a major scandal was uncovered by Italian prosecutors after tapping Juventus’ phone conversations. They found that the general manager of the club had various contracts with referees, football federation officials and journalists during the 2004 and 2005 championships. It was found a total of 78 matches were likely to have been rigged, and these did not only involve Juventus.

Candidate Cities Bribing International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member for Votes

Following the huge growth in the number of candidates for hosting the Olympics during the mid-1980s, cities attempted to ‘influence’ IOC members in ways that were ethnically questionable. A large number of IOC members accepted favors or valuable gifts such as free vacations, jobs, or even cash to vote for the candidate city. These practices were made public in the media as of 1986 when electing the 1992 Olympic city, although they probably existed before that date.

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The Sheridan Report published in 1999 established that the head of the 2000 Sydney candidature committee admitted to various acts of lobbying (an attempt to influence the decisions of government), including the use of ‘agents’ to obtain votes from African Olympic representatives. In 1993 just before the IOC cast its votes, the Australian Olympic Committee offered AU$65,000 to two IOC members, the representatives for Kenya and Uganda.

2008 Renault Formula One Crash

The Renault Formula One crash, called Crashgate by some in the media, was a sporting scandal caused by the Renault F1 team, which ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to deliberately crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, to give a sporting advantage to his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso.

On the 14th lap of the race, the Renault R28 driven by Piquet crashed into the circuit wall, causing a safety car deployment. The other Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, had previously made an early pitstop, and was promoted to the race lead as other cars had too pitstop under safety car conditions. Alonso won the race after starting 15th. Piquet described his crash at the time as a simple mistake. This shows how far some people are willing to go in the cases of sporting corruption as it could have caused Piquet’s death.

2018 Australian Ball-Tampering Scandal

The 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal was a cricket scandal surrounding the men's Australian national cricket team. During the third Test match against South Africa Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing in flight. Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved and all three received sanctions from Cricket Australia.


Corrupt sport has become such a significant criminal economic activity that it deserves a deeper focus, especially since the affect it has on the gameplay. As it is shown in most of these cases and many more, corruption involves cheating which affects gameplay making game immoral and unethical.

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Corruption and Its Impact on Gameplay. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
“Corruption and Its Impact on Gameplay.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023,
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