Football, or soccer as it is often referred to in Northern America, is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially when it comes to prestigious events such as the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. The football tournament that dominated the world over the past weeks, however, was the UEFA Champions League and its highly anticipated final, which among others, has become the reason for a tragedy outside Europe. A young man in Tanzania has taken his own life after Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid on Saturday.
The competition is organized by the Union of European Football Associations and involves the best top-division European clubs. It has become extremely popular, however, in many parts of the world and is generally known as the most prestigious tournament in the world of football. Just like other highly rated sports events, it is broadcast to millions of people and bookmakers take in millions of dollars in wagers. This, apparently, happened in Tanzania too during the Champions League, where betting on single sports events is regulated and legal. One punter, however, became so desperate after losing his bet on the final this weekend that he committed suicide, local media outlet report.
The young man, identified as Moses Mashaka was found dead on Sunday and according to the local police, he had hanged himself over losing a bet. The man was a student from Sinde ward in Mbeya Region, Tanzania, and he bet that English club Liverpool would win the final match of the Champions League. After Spain’s Real Madrid became this year’s champion, the young man realized he had lost his bet and hanged himself. The news was confirmed by Mbeya Regional Police Commander Musa Kaibu, who did not reveal the exact amount of money Mashaka lost over the game. It is also unclear whether the student took his life because his favourite club lost the most important match of the year, or because he lost a lot of money betting on the match.
Sports Betting Comes with Certain Risks
Most experts point out that sports betting comes with certain risks and many concerns have been raised in the past few weeks, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overrule the statewide ban on sports wagering. It is also important to consider all risks, as Canada is expected to follow suit sooner or later and introduce sports betting legislation on the federal level. And while many representatives of the Canadian gaming and betting industry urge the government to take steps to liberalize the market, others warn that betting on single sports events may come with dangers.
The potential profits in this industry certainly create more incentives for match fixing, but this is just one of the many issues associated with sports betting. As a form of gambling, it can also lead to addictions and compulsive behaviour. In this case, a young man has probably placed a huge bet on a match and once he lost, this caused him to lose a lot of money. Incidents such as this are, indeed, rare, but they indicate how dangerous extreme gambling behaviours can be.