Joel Gonzalez will investigate illegal bets in Spanish football
His knee said enough and had to undergo surgery for repair. It was last December 10 and Joel González, Olympic and World champion of Taekwondo, has taken advantage of this break to prepare himself for his other passion: criminology. The Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) wants him to investigate illegal betting in Spanish football, and so he travelled to Belgium to get ready for it.
The Taekwondo athlete, who already sees the light at the end of the tunnel and wants to return to the competition, explains that in Belgium, his expectations were met with margins: “Everyone in Federbet has behaved very well. “I have been explained how the world of betting works, they’ve taught me the tools used to detect scams in matches, because it really happens, and they know how to investigate it… is a very interesting world”, says. What surprised him the most are the amount of illegal bets that exist: “there are many. Like 10 per week all around the world. I liked it so much and was so good at it that I even travelled to Vienna, where there is one of the best companies in international boommaker: SKS. I went to the risk Department and directly worked with the best in the world in this section. It was a magical and very good experience,” he says excited. “Learning from the best is the way to learn well. I could control the World Cup of Brazil. It was very exciting”, he reveals.
González confessed that there were no illegal bets during the World Cup: “A couple of matches from the World Cup were identified as potential frauds, but in the end it was concluded that they were fair.” When Federbet says that a game is a fraud and takes him to the FIFA and UEFA, they must be 100% sure. “In the end it has been proved that these matches weren’t a fraud”, he declared, not wanting to reveal which the suspected matches were.
Seeing Joel talking about illegal betting, one realizes that it is a world that he loves, just like Taekwondo: “research for me is the most beautiful part of Criminology”, confesses. The LFP really wants to end with fixed matches: “They are creating rules for prevention so that this does not happen again, and if it happens, being able to investigate and detect them. It is true that research is very comprehensive, very complicated, but once you can do it and you have the right tools, it is a nice job.”You select the game, you study well the two teams, because the fee rises or drops if there is a player injured or not, how many games are left, the emotion of the moment… assesses everything and we are talking about sport, which is what I like, so much better. It’s the perfect mix,” concludes the Olympic champion.
Studying Criminology will take him from the Taekwondo to football: “I still have to sign the final contract with the LFP. I was hired by Federbet for two months and now I have to go to Madrid to signed with the League. It is a a 1-year contract with a possible extension to four years, so I’m very happy because it was a learning experience that they want me to implement Spain. They have a plan for me and this is very interesting”.
We ask Joel to give us some keys to detect if a match is not 100% clean: “it’s complicated. When you have the suspicion that a match can be fixed is something immediately noticeable. Before the match even starts, experts have already many notions that this game can be fixed by analyzing the bets. When they see that there are strange amounts of money for results that no one would normally bet for this is properly analyzed: where do these bets come from and how much money is involved. When it goes up to 1 million euros, the alarm is activated”, explains comprehensively to give us an idea of how these mafias extended all over the world act. “To carry out a research and study the reasons for these things to happen, specially if related to a sport, it is something perfect for my future, once I quit Taekwondo”. For now, he’s already made a big step to get it.
Source: Àngels Fàbregues (SPORT – www.sport.es)