(Hill shaking hands with one of his inspirations Harry Gregg – the great Manchester United goalkeeper and Munich air crash hero.)
Declan Hill is a journalist, academic and consultant. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on match fixing and corruption in international sports. In 2008, Hill, as a Chevening Scholar, obtained his doctorate in Sociology at the University of Oxford.
His book ‘The Fix: Organized Crime and Soccer’ has appeared in twenty-one languages. Hill was the first person to show the new danger to international sport posed by the globalization of the gambling market and match-fixing at the highest levels of professional football (soccer) including the Champions League and FIFA World Cup tournaments. Part of the book details his involvement with an Asian match-fixing gang as they travelled around the world to fix major football matches.
Hill has also published a number of academic articles, was a reviewer for Global Integrity and has probed the impact of the Russian mafia on professional ice hockey in the NHL. In 2011, he pioneered the first on-line anti-match-fixing education course for Sport Accord that was eventually used by Interpol – the International Police Force.
In 2013, his second book ‘The Insider’s Guide to Match-Fixing’ was published and immediately translated into Japanese. It is a popular version of his Oxford doctoral thesis and was dubbed by its English-language publisher as ‘Freakonomics meets Sports Corruption’.
In his previous professional capacity, Hill acted in minor roles at the Shaw Festival and other Canadian theatres, then in India on the Doordshan television series ‘Bhaarat ek Khoj’. Because of his experiences in a Calcutta street clinic he gradually drifted away from theatre, becoming one of the founding volunteers of the Canadian chapter of Doctors without Borders (MSF) and then moved into journalism.
Hill worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) first as an investigative journalist at the flagship program the fifth estate then as an anchor for Newsworld International.
His programs and articles have also appeared in the New York Times, the Toronto Star, the BBC, The Guardian and the Sunday Telegraph (London), as well as other media outlets. For his work on match-fixing, Hill has been interviewed by over-700 major news outlets – including CNN, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Sydney Morning Herald, Al Jazeera, The Times, Il Manifesto, Corriere della Sera (Milan): El País (Madrid), Politiken (Copenhagen).
Before publishing The Fix, Hill completed documentaries on the widespread murders of Filipino journalists, the killing of the head of the Canadian mafia, blood feuds in Kosovo, ethnic cleansing in Iraq, pagan religions in Bolivia and honour killings in Turkey.
He has also given presentations about sports corruption to a number of organizations including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), committees at the European Parliament in Brussels and the UK Parliament in Westminster, the Council of Europe, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and the Australian and New Zealand Sports Lawyers Association. He also moderates conferences in the Cayman Islands and Antigua on the dangers of international money-laundering.
Hill is the winner of the 2007 Canadian Association of Journalists Award for best investigative radio documentary and is an Amnesty International Canada 2003 Media Award Winner. The 2009 Play the Game Award winner for an individual who best exemplifies the qualities of sport and an honorary award from the Greek Sports Journalist Association for his role in revealing sports corruption.
In his spare time, Hill is a keen amateur boxer and martial arts enthusiast. He leads groups of recreational and competitive fighters to train in Havana, Cuba. On March 31, 2012, Hill won a charity boxing match that was part of the historic Trudeau-Brazeau night – as part of Fight for the Cure in support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Hill speaks four languages – English, French, Spanish and (poor) Italian.
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