In recent days the ugly side of the beautiful game has been all too evident.

In South Korea, 46 players have been indicted for alleged match fixing. They allegedly took bribes to fix the results of matches or bet on matches they knew would be fixed.

Another eleven people, including gambling brokers and members of organised crime group were also indicted.

Prosecutors have suggested that last year fifteen K League matches were rigged.

Previously, fifteen players were indicted over similar accusations.

The K League is 28 years old and government officials have threatened to shut it down if any more corruption takes place.

Big money is involved.

Kickbacks of up to $30,000 were paid while a high profile player, Kim Dong-hyum of Sangju Sangmu, is reported to have earned $375,000 by betting on matches.

Also in Turkey, a court has formally charged fifteen players with match fixing.

There is the possibility that the Turkish Premier League champions, Fenerbahce will be stripped of their title and an arrest warrant has been issued for its President, Aziz Yildirim.

Fenerbahce won sixteen of their last seventeen matches to come from far behind to win the championship. This qualifies them for the Champion League but The Turkish FA has until July 15th to confirm to UEFA which teams will represent Turkey in the European club competitions.

In recent years there have been corruption scandals in a number of countries including China, Italy, Egypt, Germany and Vietnam.

FIFA has responded by setting up a special corruption unit with Interpol in Singapore.

Match fixing is now seen as a major threat to the game in a number of countries.

Strong deterrents must be issued to those found guilty – heavy fines, prison sentences and automatic life bans from all football.

It will not eradicate the problem but it may make some think twice before they fix a match.

Dealing with match fixing is now one of football’s biggest challenges.

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