Joe Jogia has made a series of allegations concerning match fixing in snooker in an interview with the Sunday Mirror.
Jogia was banned for two years following an investigation into unusual betting patterns surrounding his match against Matt Selt in the Shootout last year.
He has since been contacting journalists seeking payment for a story detailing his claims about historic corruption in the game. The Sunday Mirror does not state how much Jogia received for the interview.
Jogia effectively admits breaching WPBSA rules on failing to report approaches to fix matches. The governing body confirms he did not pass on any information about match fixing to them.
But this is not to say his claims should be dismissed. Snooker, like any other sport but no more than any other sport, has suffered from low level fixing and cheating, usually in matches ‘below the radar’ in qualifiers and lesser tournaments.
Players who often haven’t earned much money are particularly susceptible to match fixing.
The rise of internet betting makes all sports vulnerable to corruption. It is only relatively recently that snooker has taken the problem seriously enough.
Jogia said: “You know that the people who put the bets on and hang around with these players are not nice people.”
He is certainly right about this. On the periphery of the game there have been many dodgy characters down the years who have got their claws into players, often under the guise of ‘manager’. Players have historically been spectacularly bad at seeing through these people.
World Snooker should introduce proper licensing of managers and stop allowing players and others to just sign in anyone they like at tournament venues.
Players know the difference between right and wrong. They know cheating is wrong. But many of them are extremely naive and easily manipulated, usually by people in which they have put misplaced trust.
The bedrock of any sport is its integrity. There isn’t a sport in the world that is 100% clean but that does not mean that each of them should not aspire to be clean.
Snooker faces the same challenges as football, cricket and others when it comes to organised gambling rings, particularly in countries from which it is difficult to obtain sufficient information to make a case.
In Nigel Mawer, World Snooker has someone determined to both root out corruption and punish the offenders.
As Joe Jogia can testify.