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6 People Arrested Over Match-Fixing
Quote:At least three footballers are among six people arrested by police in an investigation into match-fixing in Britain.

The operation is being conducted by the newly-formed National Crime Agency - which has been dubbed Britain's FBI - and is working closely with the FA.

Arrests followed an investigation by The Daily Telegraph into Asian match fixers who were targeting games in Britain.

A spokesman for the NCA said: "Six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged football match fixing. The focus of the operation is a suspected international illegal betting syndicate.

"The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association. This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further detail at this time."

In the undercover video recorded by The Daily Telegraph an internationally known fixer correctly predicts the results of three games played by the same team.

He claimed lower league matches could be fixed for as little as £50,000 and said he would pay a player an extra £5,000 to take a yellow card early in the game to signal the game had been manipulated.

The man, who met undercover reporters in Manchester, is reported to have planned to target two matches this month.

"The threat of corruption is something that The Football League and the other football authorities treat with the utmost seriousness. The integrity of our matches and our competitions is the bedrock of the domestic game."

Explaining how he would ensure players deliver a particular scoreline, he told an undercover reporter: "In England the cost is very high... usually for the players it is £70,000.

"So I talk to them. Double confirm. I also tell them, I tell ... this [is] what I want ... Because simple, I commit myself and they commit. So you tell me how many goals ... Give me at least five ... either 3-2, 4-0 or zero, ... for me four is enough."

It is not believed that any Premier League sides are involved in the scandal, but the identities of those clubs affected cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.

Asian-betting based websites are used by the fixers to place the bets, with the British betting markets not believed to be implicated.

However, as investigative journalist who has written a book on match fixing believes the problem the problem is spreading rapidly to Europe.

Declan Hill told Sky Sport News: "When I was watching (the secretly filmed footage) I was chuckling because I think I recognised some of the individuals concerned.

"The dialogue is entirely reasonable - the kind of thing you hear on a weekly basis from these kind of guys

"We're no longer talking about the occasional match - we're talking about a new phenomenon of globalisation of sports corruption.

"The music and the travel industry have been revolutionised by globalisation and so has sports corruption.

"It's rife across Asia, it's rife across Africa and it's coming into Europe in a serious way."

Both the Football Association and Football League responded to The Daily Telegraph's investigation.

An FA statement read: "The FA has been made aware of a number of arrests in relation to a National Crime Agency investigation."

Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: "We have worked closely with the authorities in relation to this investigation. The FA will make no further comment due to it being an on-going investigation."

"To date, we have had no contact from the Police regarding this matter.

"The threat of corruption is something that The Football League and the other football authorities treat with the utmost seriousness. The integrity of our matches and our competitions is the bedrock of the domestic game."

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it has liaised with the NCA during the investigation.


And then this was on the Telegraph website recently:

Quote:Football Association accused of failing to act over Conference South match-fixing investigation

The Football Association has come under fire for failing to question three Conference South clubs after bookmakers stopped taking bets in the wake of suspicious betting patterns last season.

The Football Association has come under fire for failing to question three non-league clubs about suspicious betting patterns on matches last season.

Bookmakers stopped taking bets on a number of Conference South matches involving Billericay Town, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford following irregular betting activity, a BBC investigation found.

The FA told clubs to "remind players and officials of their responsibilities under the rules", but all three club chairmen told the BBC none of them have been questioned over the affair.

Former head of the FA's compliance unit, Graham Bean, described the governing body's failure to contact the clubs was "disgraceful".

He told the BBC: "It is my belief that the FA tend to stick their heads in the sand at suggestions of match-fixing and tend to give a perception that they don't think it actually exists.
"When I was at the FA, I once raised the idea of having an intelligence hotline where anonymous contact could be made to report wrongdoing. I was laughed at for the suggestion."

The investigation found that hundreds of thousands of pounds was gambled on Billericay's match at Welling in November - the vast amount on Asian betting exchanges - despite only 408 spectators attending the fixture.

Billericay Town chairman Steve Kent told the BBC: "It was a phenomenal amount of money.

"There was more money bet on our game than on the Barcelona game [that week]. That's where the story came from. The FA and the league picked up on that but they did nothing about it.

"If there is a problem, let's sort it out, get rid of it and move on. The FA are the only ones that can do it really - they have the power."

He added: "I am calling for the authorities in this country to investigate the possibility of match-fixing at our level of football.

"How can they investigate alleged match-fixing involving my club when not a single person from the police, the FA, or the league made any kind of approach to us whatsoever? It's amazing."

An FA spokesman said: "The FA takes the matter of integrity extremely seriously. The FA does not confirm any details of investigations or enquiries made, or indeed whether they are ongoing."

Edited by Ben Bloom


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