A while back I heard of a case where a team stated that they lost because they were just having fun. On pushing the point, because no one really thinks that losing is fun, one player stated that the team lost on purpose in order to allow that team to advance and to keep another team in a lower league.
Boy, do I have a problem with such. Thank heavens that it did not happen at a Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) championship as the MSSA Swiss System is quite unforgiving, and any such type of 'shenanigans' would compromise the team doing it more than advantage the weaker team receiving the benefit.
Also MSSA would not tolerate any such 'match-fixing'.
But is it really match-fixing?
Match fixing is defined as: "(in sport) the action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a match before it is played."
In my opinion there is no doubt that the team that played badly on purpose dishonestly determined the outcome.
The team that unfairly won, progressed to a higher league - which would have skewed results of the higher league. The team that was denied the elevation to a higher league, through no fault of their own, was compromised, and had to stay in the lower league for yet another season.
Thus the team that 'was just having fun' materially affected the outcome.
In terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, No. 12 of 2004 (2003) I believe that such actions actually are of a criminal nature as the deed seems to be of a corrupt nature.
Section 15 (b) of such Act states:
"gives or agrees or offers to give to any other person any gratification whether for the benefit of that other person or for the benefit of another person-
(i) in return for-
(aa) engaging in any act which constitutes a threat to or undermines the integrity of any sporting event, including, in any way. influencing the run of play or the outcome of a sporting event; or"
The main question arises, was there any gratification.
Gratification is defined in the Act as:
(b) any donation, gift, any fee, reward, valuables, security, property or interest in property of any description, whether movable or immovable, or any other similar advantage;
(c) the avoidance of a loss, liability, penalty, forfeiture. punishment or other disadvantage;
(d) any office, status, honour, employment, contract of employment or services, any agreement to give employment or render services in any capacity and residential or holiday accommodation: (e) any payment. release, discharge or liquidation of any loan, obligation or other liability. whether in whole or in part;
(f) any forbearance to demand any money or money‘s worth or valuable thing:
(g) any other service or favour or advantage of any description. including protection from any penalty or disability incurred or apprehended or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary. civil or criminal nature. whether or not already instituted, and includes the exercise or the forbearance from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty:
(h) any right or privilege;
(i) any real or pretended aid, vote, consent. influence or abstention from voting: or
(j) any valuable consideration or benefit of any kind, including any discount. commission, rebate, bonus. deduction or percentage;
If there was any gratification, then the act of purposefully losing was of a corrupt nature, and the team, the organisers, and the sponsors would have a very real course of remedial action.