I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in anyone in my life as I was on Sunday when I read the News of the World’s expose of the snooker match fixing scandal involving John Higgins, the World Number 1.
I mean, John Higgins, the Snooker World Number 1, offering to throw snooker matches in return for cash (300,000 euros) – how much worse can it get than the Number 1 offering to rig matches?
In his defence, Higgins says he was concerned because he thought he was facing the Russian mafia or some other similar outfit and therefore elected to simply play along until he could get himself safely out of the situation.
Had Higgins and / or his agent, Pat Mooney, at the time a board member of the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association (WPBSA) although forced to resign after the scandal broke, reported the ‘Russian mafia’ meeting to the appropriate snooker authorities upon their return to the UK, I would believe them 100%, I really would, and I would be celebrating their honesty and integrity.
As it was, they didn’t report anything untoward had happened which really throws tremendous doubt on their version of events and instead makes your average punter, of which I’m one, believe that the News of the World video pretty much tells the whole story – they were conspiring to rig snooker match results for money.
When Higgins lost 13 – 11 to Steve Davis in this year’s competition I thought he must have been having a really bad day but in light of recent events one can only wonder.
One thing’s for sure, however, if Higgins is found guilty by snooker’s governing body, he’s finished. My view is that if found guilty he will be banned from the game for life.
As it turned out, the World Championship Final was crap.