Before I begin, I shall paint a picture, either that or write about who John Higgins is.
There’s this dude in snooker, right. This one’s called John Higgins. He’s been the world champion three times. And he’s Scottish.
But, unfortunately, his name has been dragged in the dirt by that loving, caring and – most of all – honest, the News Of The World.
The News Of The World, a tabloid newspaper, claims to have video footage of Higgins and his manager Pat Mooney in Kiev, agreeing to take 300,000 euros (that’s about £261,000) in exchange for losing frames in matches at four tournaments. Higgins has not been in any match fixing in the past.
In this year’s World Championships in Sheffield, he was defeated in an earlier round. Higgins was suspended from future tournaments just hours before the final between Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott.
World Snooker chairman, Barry Hearn, stated he had to take “drastic action” following the report with Higgins. He added that the investigation would be concluded in “days and weeks, rather than months and months”.
“Pat Mooney has resigned from the WPBSA (World Snooker) board and his resignation has been accepted, with immediate effect,” Hearn added. “This matter has brought the very fabric of the game into question and the strongest possible message needs to be sent out that this behavior has no part to play in our game and will not be tolerated. Any wrong doing will be severely dealt with.”
After suspending Higgins, and reading the piece and seeing the video, Hearn told the BBC that he “can’t see any reason not to suspend him at this moment in time”.
Pat Mooney said “You have no idea what the circumstances were in Kiev, that’s why I have no comment. But we were genuinely in fear for our safety.”
Higgins has denied any wrongdoing. claiming that he “became very worried at the way the conversation developed in Kiev. When it was suggested that I throw frames in return for large sums of money, I was really spooked. I just wanted to get out of the hotel and onto the plane home… I didn’t know if this was the Russian Mafia or who we were dealing with. At that stage I felt the best course of action was just to play along with these guys and get out of Russia.”
The News Of The World were surprised at Mooney’s suggestions. The newspaper said its investigations editor had three meetings with Higgins’s manager in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh. Apparently
The newspaper said further revelations would be published next week…
And that’s what I’ve got with this story. If you can even call it that.
You see, it’s not the first time that The News Of The World has released “shocking news” in this manner. Only recently has the tabloid newspaper released an article on Joe Calzaghe and his “drug shame” and numerous others.
How did they manage to obtain these stories? Basically, by secretly filming them. Okay, agreeing to fix a few frames for money is wrong, but, and I quote, “feared for our safety”. If someone told you to do something and you believed that they could be from the Russian Mafia. So, the newspaper basically got a story out of fear. Not only that, it could potentially destroy two people’s careers and credibility.
Oh, how I love tabloids, I really do. Y’know, the newspapers who feed attention seekers with money so they can gain more. Let me ask you this, dear reader, why must we live in a corrupt world where the revelations of Katie Price and her new love interest is more important than the developments and the deaths in the war in Afghanistan?
Oh, if only I was running for Prime Minister… how things would change…