The most decorated player in the history of Tennis does not believe that the solution to corruption in tennis lies in paying more money to the players.
Roger Federer was asked about the ongoing saga revolving match-fixing in tennis after his first round match of first Grand Slam of the year, Australian Open. And according to the Swiss, paying more money to players is not the solution and it would not fix the problem. Talking to reporters after the match, he said that people who believe that injecting more money into tennis will end match-fixing do not understand the situation. It will not stop the corruption in sport no matter how much there is to offer.
The former World Number 1 added that no matter how much money is being injected into the game, there will be people out there approaching players and offering more money to fix matches. Even if every player competing in the tournament is going to receive 1 million dollar each, it would not change the fact that there will bookies outside the court, willing to pay more than that amount in order to achieve their own betting objectives.
“I completely disagree with you. I think you don’t understand. It doesn’t matter how much money you pump into the system, there’s always going to be people approaching players, or people, any sport.”
Federer said that these people will keep on approaching players in the future and more money will not stop them and why should it? They are not the ones receiving money, they are the ones offering money to players.
“Still might be approached. That’s why I think you’re wrong there, that more money there is going to solve the issue completely.”
The winner of record Grand Slam titles further said that he is not against adding more money at futures, challengers and all three levels. However, according to Federer, the problem lies in the mindset of the players rather than the system and that is what needed to be fixed rather than the other way around.
“I agree we should have more money at futures, challengers, all these levels. But it’s not going to solve the issue. The issue is elsewhere, in the player’s mind.”
Given the fact that Tennis accepts betting websites as its partners, gives more impetus to the calls for injecting more money to the players. But there should be a system and a ceiling to how much should be and can be paid. Roger Federer is very much right in claiming that the problem lies in the mind of the player. If he can live with the guilt of fixing a match, than nothing can be done about it unless he gets caught and punished by the authorities, which has not been the case so far.
The world of tennis has been rocked by the news of match fixing recently following a report made public by BBC and BuzzFeed News.