Betting and match fixing bribe in the world of snooker John Higgins
Basically the story goes something like this. A few guys meet the world’s number one snooker player John Higgins and his manager Pat Mooney at a hotel in Kiev. They are a couple of shady characters and instantly Higgins and his manager get a bit on edge. They walk into the room and they are carrying a big briefcase. In the briefcase is a lot of money, £261,000 to be exact. They offer Higgins the money and tell him to drop a few frames and lose the next match he plays. Well as it turns out Higgins doesn’t have to accept the money but says he will and the person offering him the money is an undercover reporter covering the story and Higgins and his manager get caught red handed.
This story goes deep into the alleged world of underground betting and illegal practices in the world of snooker. Higgins claims he is innocent saying that he was afraid for his life and that he thought the guys offering him the money were connected to the mob. It turns out they weren’t but Higgins was suspended indefinitely from snooker and his image will probably be forever tarnished.
Who knew this problem of betting and match fixing was so prevalent in snooker. A few weeks ago a story surfaced that said that two snooker players were involved in illegal betting practices and they were heavily fined and reprimanded. And now this whole business with John Higgins, what is going on in snooker? It used to be such a gentleman’s game, with the players always dressed like penguins and seemed like they could do no harm. But under the surface, evil lurked in the hearts of men. What is even stranger about this story is that it turns out that Higgins’ manager went and met with the guys, who were supposedly connected to the mob, three times before the fateful meeting when they were caught. Now if both of them, Higgins and his manager, were afraid for their lives why would they have met the dodgy guys on three other occasions?
Let’s look at this story from a different angle. Let’s suppose that those guys were actually from the Russian mafia as is claimed. Would the claims of the snooker player and his manager hold up to scrutiny? The Russian mafia or any mafia for that matter is made up of a very scary bunch of people. Usually they are people who don’t care too much about subtlety or niceness and have a tendency to kill lots of people. Who wouldn’t be afraid of people like that, I certainly would be, I would be running for the hills the first chance I got. Now imagine if a bunch of these shady characters managed to corner you into meeting them a few times by telling you they would kill you if you didn’t, most people I’m guessing would. And on top of that if they say you have to throw a game I’m supposing you would too. But then again what is odd about this story is that usually from the films I have seen, I have no actual experience of dealing with dodgy mafia types, the mafia types don’t offer the person they are extorting money to do something they could do just as well by force. Maybe they offered him the money in order to keep Higgins from going to the police or running back home too quickly. If it was meant as bait, it worked quite well.
Now Higgins has to deal with the fact that he has singlehandedly along with his manager, so maybe doublehandedly, managed to tarnish his own name and drag the sport that he plays and made him so famous, into the mud. He may never recover from this incident and if he doesn’t at least it gives other players a chance to claim the top spot while Higgins is out of the action. They better watch out though because if the allegations are true, then someone as famous as Higgins, who already probably has a lot of money got swayed into taking a bribe of £261,000.
The other players might settle for half that amount. Now the Russian mafia are really going to go fishing. On a final note, who knew snooker was so big in Russia, well betting probably is and so they got bored of betting on football and snooker might have popped up out of the blue.