Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag carefully avoided asking questions about him. Imminent move to Manchester United Before last weekend’s Dutch Cup final, but it wasn’t the only controversial topic he shook in his accumulation in showpiece games.
Ajax players Davy Klaassen and Daley Blind, both international in the Netherlands, are monetary from dressing room information by trading and acquiring non-alternative tokens (NFTs) in fantasy football games. He has been accused of trying to make a profit and revealing the team’s lineup. The prices of NFTs they knew will soon rise.
“I don’t know anything,” Tenhug said. “The lineup will not be announced until Sunday morning. Can players make money with this?”
The answer to that question is yes, as originally raised by the Dutch news site BNR.
The online game Sorare has generated huge investments and sponsored many of Europe’s largest clubs, allowing users to buy, acquire and manage virtual teams of digital player cards (NFTs). These are price volatile and can generate winnings depending on the actual outcome. This represents a potential reward for knowledgeable traders.
Prior to Sunday’s final in Rotterdam, Klassen and Blind chose to play for Ajax’s goal after a disappointing 2-1 defeat against PSV Eindhoven. It seems that he mistakenly told the world that he was likely to do it.
In most other areas, trading confidential sports information for financial gain comes with significant penalties, but in the virtually unregulated world of NFTs, things are not so clear.
Solare spokesman said Athletic We’re reviewing these reports and “taking action” to make sure the game is fair.
What is Solare?
Solare recently attracted more than $ 600 million (£ 460 million) from Softbank and valued it at more than $ 4 billion (£ 3.1 billion). Current and former soccer stars such as Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann are participating in the company.
The game is similar to regular fantasy football, but artificially rarens virtual cards using blockchain technology, a decentralized computer network that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Users can make money by buying cards at low prices and selling them at high prices, and cards can generate prizes depending on their success in the field.
Some cards turn into huge hands. For example, the Erling Haaland NFT sold for $ 614,000 (£ 472,000) in January.
last year, Athletic report The company simply talks about how a secret “quantitative hedge fund” run by a small number of players can earn millions of dollars in cash rewards from a platform sold as an “investment” by many paid affiliates. Claims to be a game.
Soccer players gambling in their team’s games are strictly forbidden, but Sorare, who claims to be not a gambling platform, has no such ban. The platform is virtually unregulated.
However, weekend events in the Netherlands have revealed that playing games can have consequences. It raises a serious question about the integrity of the sport.
What did the Ajax player do?
Andre Onana was expected to start with Ajax’s goal in the final on SundayA journalist on the Dutch television show Vandaag Inside noticed anomalous activity at Sorare before the kick-off.
Both Klaassen and Blind bought a card from their teammate Maarten Stekelenburg. Maarten Stekelenburg is the club’s 39-year-old backup goalkeeper who hasn’t played since August due to a serious hip injury and has just returned to the bench in recent leagues. The game of the previous weekend.
This activity by the full-back blinds and midfielder Klassen was seen as a sign that Stekelenburg was chosen over Onana. This is a suggestion that proved correct when the two start XIs were named.
The price of Solare Card goes up and down depending on the activity in the field.
The Stekelenburg NFT was very cheap Thursday morning, but its value soared when the blinds and Klassen bought it unexpectedly. This means great potential benefit.
Blind then tried to resell the Onana card, and 19-year-old teammate Kenneth Taylor did the same.
The amount involved is significantly less (hundreds of euros) compared to the payment packets of elite soccer players, and players do not appear to have significantly enriched themselves. However, it raises concerns about the player’s involvement in the games in which they appear.
Many other professionals also play the game, including Atletico Madrid, the French forward, and Griezmann, who is also an investor in Solare.
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) March 25, 2021
There is a response from last year’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) incident. This is the official online version of Top Flight in English, where fans choose players and earn points depending on how much they play.
Norwegian FPL fans have set up an online “bot” to share the FPL activities of Premier League players and club non-play staff. As a result, the odds of gambling in the world may have changed by mistake.
The account tweeted that some Aston Villa players and staff had removed club starman Jack Grealish from the FPL team, suggesting they were injured in their next match against Leicester City. I am.
Given the importance of Grealish to the team, this information has led to changing match betting odds in Lester’s favor.
⚠️🔻 [AVL] Multiple Insiders Forwarded OUTGrealish!
— FPL Insider (@insider_fpl) February 19, 2021
There is no suggestion that the players involved have benefited financially from the information. FA spokesman said Athletic Insider information is taken seriously, but there are no restrictions on free fantasy football games. Aston Villa I declined to comment.
Sorare has vehemently disputed that it is a gambling platform, but the UK Gambling Commission has released an investigation into whether it should be licensed and regulated.
In leagues around the world, soccer players are strictly prohibited from gambling in the games they play, due to conflicts of interest and the integrity of the sport. The most extreme example is the perfect match-fixing.
There is no suggestion that the blinds or classen broke the rules, but it may simply be because the law has not yet caught up with the new era of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in football.
What will happen next?
Soccer officials are keen on banning gambling, which has been a thorny problem in sports for decades, but Solare is a new factor to consider.
“Gambling is not allowed, but this is a new phenomenon. There is no disciplinary action for this,” a Dutch Football Association spokesman told local media. “We are closely tracking such developments. It’s something new, but it’s our agenda.”
Solare spokesman said Athletic The company is “considering recent reports of fraud” by players and “taking action as necessary to ensure fair play.”
“Solare’s priority is to build a fun and fair platform for sports fans. We do not tolerate unjust behavior by users, actively adapt the rules of the game, and fantasy games We try to create an equal competition for all. “
Ajax and the Dutch FA were contacted for comment.
(Photo above: Getty Van Erven / BSR Agency / Getty Images)