Match-Fixing Scandal Finally Hits British Soccer

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The global crime syndicate allegedly responsible for fixing soccer matches worldwide, has finally landed on British shores. Six people in Britain were arrested Thursday for their part in allegedly fixing soccer matches. 

The National Crime Agency announced six arrests — including three players and one agent — in relation to an international match-fixing conspiracy. The arrests came after an investigation by British-newspaper The Telegraph that spoke with a suspected match-fixer from Singapore who promised he could influence a soccer match, down to the number of goals scored, for $81,380. English matches "cost... very high," he told the Telegraph.  

One of the people arrested is believed to be a journeyman professional soccer player with ties to the Premier League, Britain's top soccer league. The BBC has the details:

Sources have told the BBC that former Bolton Wanderers striker turned football agent, Delroy Facey, 33, was one of the six arrested.

He made 14 appearances for the then-Premier League Bolton between 2002-2004, before moving down the leagues, ending last season with Hereford United, who were relegated from the football league.

The Premier League remains untouched by the scandal, though. The group allegedly fixed matches in the Football League, a three-tiered league below the Premiership. "The threat of corruption is something that the Football League and the other football authorities treat with the utmost seriousness," Football League CEO Shaun Harvey, who has not been contacted by police, told the BBC. 

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In a statement the Associated Press, Chris Eaton, the former head of security for FIFA, said the crime and methods were nothing new, but that the match-fixing scandal reached England should be significant enough to cause change:

"What is new is that it shocks England, the home of the game. That shock should be used to galvanize international efforts to regulate and supervise sport betting globally, which is the real motivation for modern match-fixing."


Authorities have slowly raised the fight against global match-fixing corruption over the last few months. Europol declared the influence of a mysterious global crime syndicate damaging to the game at the beginning of the year. The fight against corruption suffered a huge blow when Dan Tan, the man suspected to head the crime syndicate, was arrested in September. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.