Andreas Xenofontos

Match-Fixing in Cyprus: Examining the Impact on Fans’ Soccer Attendance

April 11, 2021   /  

Name: Andreas Xenofontos
Major: Economics
Minor: Theatre and Dance
Advisor: Dr. Brooke Krause

Soccer is by far the most famous sport in Cyprus. Fans are emotionally attached to their teams and may be deeply disappointed and discouraged when something does not go as planned for their favorite team. This disappointment stems mainly from unrelated athletic repercussions such as multiple match-fixing soccer scandals that receive huge amounts of publicity. Cyprus has been suffering from numerous match-fixing cases, many of which have seen the light of publicity. This research paper examines how match-fixing occurs through theoretical microeconomic framework and empirically investigates the impact of match-fixing on fans’ attendance in Cypriot soccer using ordinary least squares, linear probability model and Poisson regression techniques. Based on the survey responses of 558 Cypriot soccer fans, the empirical results show statistically significant relationship that match fixing and corruption through referee bribing negatively impact fans’ soccer attendance. The reduction in attendance shows that fans want a change and is a direct call to restore transparency in the Cypriot soccer. To the best of my knowledge, there have been no previous studies examining the phenomenon of match-fixing and fans’ attendance through quantitative analysis.

Andreas will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4pm EDT (PST: 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)

61 thoughts on “Match-Fixing in Cyprus: Examining the Impact on Fans’ Soccer Attendance”

  1. Congratulations on your I.S., Andreas!! I wish you all the best as you move forward to a new chapter in your life’s journey. A bright future awaits.

    1. Thank you Dr. Judge! You are amazing. Thank you for all your help and support!

  2. Congratulations and awesome job! I heard tidbits this semester and was looking forward to hearing more, so it is nice to get a summary of your IS. All the best with your future and I hope that you get the opportunity to work with soccer to your hearts content!

    1. Thank you Dr. Morrison for your nice comments. I hope so too. I loved doing my I.S and conducting research in the sports areas.

  3. Great work Andreas and a very interesting topic ! Congratulations ! (Συγχαρητήρια)

  4. Congratulations, Andreas! And wonderful application of the Poisson distribution. Don’t see that too often…very impressed with your knowledge and skills in this regard (and so many others!).

    1. Thank you, Dr. Karazsia. Indeed. Poisson Distribution is a very specific type of regression technique. In my study, I was measuring attendance with one game at a time and every fan attends the same game, indicating why it’s a more correctional form. It gives stronger support and significance to my results, which I was very excited to see!

  5. Congrats on all your hard work Andreas! From your perspective, do you think there is any momentum building in Cyprus to try and regulate or eliminate match fixing in sports? Do you hope that your research could contribute to Cypriots’ conversations on the topic?

    1. Thank you Tessa for your nice feedback. There have been efforts throughout the years, but nothing concrete yet. I have attached two useful links in case you are interested to find out.
      Here is link from Espn that talks about a new law against match-fixing in 2016:

      Here is a link that explains a platform launched by the Cypriot Soccer Players Association to report incidents of match-fixing anonymously last year!

      1. Thanks for these resources Andreas! Definitely going to be discussing this topic with my soccer coach sister!

  6. Great work on match fixing Andreas! Thankful we went through junior and senior IS together- I think we can take a break from regression for a little bit.

    1. Thank you Maddie. Kudos to you too! It was truly an amazing experience. We do need a break from regression ahaha. I will deal with it in grad school again 🙂

  7. Excellent work on your IS, Andreas! It was so fun working with you on it this year. Your ability to navigate unknown territory and teach yourself new things amazes me.

    1. Thank you Dr. Krause! I am forever grateful. I will never have done without your help and consistent support throughout this process! You are an amazing person and professor! Thank you for everything!

  8. Congratulations Andreas!

    Even though you embarrass Cyprus’ athletics on an international level, it’s always nice for the truth coming to light backed by statistical and economical evidence. I believe it’s time for a second article to be published by Cypriot media so these shocking results see the light of day. Hopefully this way a serious conversation regarding this matter shall take place and in result positively change circumstances in our little island.

    1. Thank you Andreas for your thoroughness. Indeed, it’s embarrassing for our small island but unfortunately is the truth. I am in close contact with the Cypriot authorities to present my results and contribute to the fight against corruption. As a Cypriot native, I wanted to provide insights into this plague that has severely damaged the most beloved sport in our country. Let us hope that one day, Cypriot soccer will gain back its credibility!

  9. Congratulations Andreas! This was such an interesting topic and I really enjoyed your presentation.

  10. Hi Andreas, Very thorough and well done – congrats for being recognized for your work! Love projects like this that explore a real-life issue from a totally new perspective. Best of luck!

    1. Hello Roger. Thank you so much for the nice feedback! All the best to you too.

  11. Andreas, what a great (and novel!) way of blending your country, love for soccer, and academic study! Really see how this project speaks to your existence as a whole.

    So you looked at fans’ physical attendance in stadiums, right? Not sure if this can be quantified, but is there a way of expanding this to virtual attendance, such as fans watching games on TV? (again, the data for this would be odd, but just a question that came to mind).

    1. Hey Alayt. Thank you for your comment! Yes, you are correct. I looked on the physical attendance. Great question. However, it would have been impossible to that. If a game is fixed, we will find out after the game (e.g. investigations for illegal gambling activities). Most of the times, match-fixing cannot be detected. That’s why is such a huge issue in the first place! Thank you for this question! Great job on your presentation too!

  12. Such an interesting research paper! The topic was also very interesting and novel, with a lot to unpack. Excellent presentation too, and a great smile! Congrats Andreas!

  13. Andreas,
    I loved getting a whole picture of research I was hearing about throughout the semester. Congratulations. What was it like doing research on a topic so close to your heart? Was it hard seeing the realities of corruption or are the realities known and you feel like maybe your research could help change that?

    1. Hey coach Davies! Thank you so much for your comment. It meant a lot of things since it’s for my country. It is my hope that my research findings will contribute to the fight against this plague, which has severely damaged the reputation of the sport I love the most. I would say the realities of corruption are known and it wouldn’t have changed my research. Unfortunately, this is the truth and I hope this can change one day! As a Cypriot, I aspire in the future to be in a position in the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) to fight corruption and restore transparency!

  14. Hey Andreas! This is so thoughtful and comprehensive. Thanks for making this topic so accessible to someone with no background in econ whatsoever! Wishing you the very best for the future!

    1. Thank you, Gracie. I wish you the very best too! I’ll come to visit in Washignton!

  15. Congrats on a successful I.S., Andreas!! Can’t wait to see where life takes you!! So proud!

  16. Super cool topic, Andreas! I’ve never heard about the severity of match fixing in Cyprus so I enjoyed learning about the topic in general but also in the context of your I.S. Congrats!!

    1. Thank you Sam for your comment. Unfortunately, it’s a big issue! One day I hope we can restore transparency in Cypriot soccer!

  17. Woooooooowwwww Andreas!!! You killed it. This is super interesting. Do you think that Cypriot authorities will use your research to reduce the corruption? as you have shown that there is a significant impact on attendance. Congrats! I’ve heard many people talking about this!

    1. Hey Sosi! I hope so! My goal is to present my results to the official authorities and hope for the best!!

  18. Really good work Andreas! It really highlights one of the main issues Cypriot football has to face.

  19. Congratulations Andreas!! Absolutely amazing work!!! I am so proud of you!! You have set ground for future research all over the world and have sparked conversation!! Can’t wait to see what you are going to do in the future!!

    1. Thank you Alegnta! I hope so! I want to continue pursuing research in the emerging field of sports corruption!

  20. Andreas. You are amazing. Congrats on a wonderful presentation and all the work that went into your research. First. Great photo of you in the magazine! Special game and goal for sure. What is your perception as a native of Cyprus? How does this impact you when you watch APOEL? Is this why Omonia is so far ahead? 😉 What has the league done to prevent match fixing from happening? Is there a threat of fines, relegation, etc. that would then impact a club or an individual’s economics/income?

    1. Hey coach Zidron! My perception is the same! I do believe that attendance has been negatively impacted by match-fixing. This is not true. Omonia has been good for only this year! APOEL is and always be the best Cypriot soccer team 🙂 There have been some fines lately but there are still lots of ground to cover. In the last few years, UEFA has taken match-fixing cases more seriously and cooperating with the CFA to fight this plague.

      Here is a link that talks about a platform that soccer players can report incidents anonymously

  21. Congratulations Andreas! You did an awesome job and I am so proud of you.
    I’m really surprised about how the Cypriot soccer teams are suffering from match-fixing cases. What’s the real reason behind this type of corruption? Is it due to political factors or any type of external forces that make these games’ results pre-determined?

    1. Thank you, Abir! I’m really glad we had the time to talk about it in person earlier today! Hopefully, I answered most of your questions! I think one of the major reasons is the culture. Just imagine that “approximately 75% of Cypriots over the age of 15 are involved in some form of gambling” (Gambling Insider, 2020). An insanely high percentage. People are exposed to gambling in Cyprus from a young age. Some political factors too, but it’s more complicated! I think someone could write a whole new Independent Study for it 🙂

  22. Congratulations, Andreas! Your intellectual curiosity and versatility continue to impress! I’m grateful for having the chance to work with you both in the classroom and over the summer, and I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors!

    1. Thank you, Dr. Freeze! It was an honor to work with you over the summer! The Art of Rock Music will always be one of my favorite classes at the College of Wooster.

  23. Congratulations on your I.S., Andreas! Speaking with you earlier about your study, it’s clear that you’re not only passionate about this topic, but have seriously considered how to emperically study phenomenon with accuracy. Did you/could you make a conclusion about fans’ identification with a team from their attendance and perception of match-fixing?

    1. Hey Janelle! Thank you so much for your comment! Great question. Yes, I was. All of my results reflect fans that identify themselves with a team. It was a specific question in the survey!

  24. Congrats Andreas! This is so cool! Can’t wait to see what the world holds in store for you!

  25. Dear Andreas,

    Wow! This is an excellent and really interesting study. I had no idea that match-fixing (and referee bribing ) were such major issues, and the relationship to fan interest and attendance is compelling. I am so glad to see that your work got broader attention beyond Wooster, too! I have never been to a professional soccer match, but now my interest in doing so is even greater.

    Wishing you all the very best for your future endeavors. You are going to make great things happen!

    1. Hello President Bolton! Thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to listen to my presentation. It’s an honor! I hope you can watch a professional soccer match soon. Thank you for supporting us in our games! Fighting Scots is a priority 🙂 It means a lot to student-athlete to see our president watching our games. Go scots!!

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