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Monday, 17 May 2010

Match-fixing in snooker

You may or may not have heard last weekend that one of the world's top snooker players, John Higgins, agreed to lose frames for a sum of money (around a quarter of a million pounds) as exposed by this article. Of course, he has tried to clear his name, claiming that he was tricked, and saying how hurt he has been by the claims. The governing body had no choice but to suspend him from the sport until the investigations were carried out. It's a very regrettable situation and I hope that he is found to be innocent.

However, this 'story' shows more about the state of the British media than it does the state of British snooker. A sport has been put into turmoil on the eve of the world championship final by a newspaper story.

The newspaper agreed to meet John Higgins in a secret location and intimidated him into agreeing to take a bribe. Of course you can't tell whether he really thought they were from the Russian mafia as he claimed, but both he and the newspaper had reasons to lie about what happened. And I happen to trust the man who is renowned for being one of the most friendly, trustworthy people in snooker above a newspaper that deliberately goes out to trick people!

Having intimidated a man and having the ammunition to ruin his career as well, News Of The World waited until the climax of the Snooker World Championship to release the story. It will make the most money for the newspaper but it damages the whole sport as well as John Higgins himself.

Newspapers like News Of The World should be closed down. They promote hate in the country, manipulate the public and ruin good people who they pick on at random. The majority of people in the country are unfortunately not educated in reading critically and forming their own opinions, and newspapers like this turn them into lemmings following the media blindly along, perhaps off a cliff...

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