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Six arrested as match-fixing allegations rock English soccer

Dec 9, 2013, 9:14 AM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

As the investigation continues, the plot thickens.

On Monday morning it was revealed that former Premier League striker DJ Campbell was amongst six men arrested and questioned in connection with match-fixing allegations in the English game.

Campbell, who know plays for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship but had previously shone for Blackpool, Birmingham and QPR in the PL, has been arrested as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) crackdown on illegal betting in soccer.

The man at the center of all this is former Portsmouth defender Sam Sodje, who reportedly told the Sun newspaper in the UK that he could arrange for red cards, yellow cards and other actions that you can bet on during a soccer game, to be arranged. Sodje, 34, also claimed to have got sent off in a League One game last year in exchange for $110,000 (£70,000) while his brother, Akpo, who plays as striker for League One Tranmere is also being questioned after he apparently stated he would take money to get booked.

All of this information came out of an investigation from the Sun and now the NCA are fully involved and trying desperately to stamp spot-fixing from the English game.

“An active NCA investigation is now under way and we are working closely with the Football Association and the Gambling Commission,” they said in a statement.

Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth and the other clubs involved have all expressed their shock at the allegations and have stated they’ll cooperate fully with the investigation.

Over the past few years the gambling industry in and around soccer in the UK has grown significantly and actions to try and make money, especially for those players in the lower leagues, have become a lot easier with the plethora of in-game markets, online betting companies and easily accessibility.

The current investigation may only be the tip of the iceberg, as the English FA and the NCA try to eradicate match-fixing of any kind from England’s national sport. This deplorable behavior, which calls into question the ethos and integrity of the game, must be stamped out immediately.

  1. dfstell - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I heard a really good interview about match fixing recently. It was interesting that most of the educational efforts are focused on young players, but that young players are rarely the ones involved in match fixing….mostly because they just aren’t on the pitch reliably enough to affect the game.

    The other thing the interview mentioned was that one of the best preventatives was simply to pay the players on-time. It’s amazing how many leagues don’t do a good job of paying their players. It’s not surprising that players are lured to other ways to supplement their income when the regular paycheck isn’t forthcoming.

    The last tidbit I found interesting was how much of the “match fixing” related more to things like yellow cards and what-not…..and not to things that really alter the outcome of the match. If you visit these gambling websites, they have odds on all sorts of crazy stuff like yellow cards. I always look at it funny when players pick up oddly unnecessary yellows at the very end of matches…..often well away from the action. It’s like they couldn’t find a good time to do it otherwise and didn’t want to really affect the outcome, but they needed to get that yellow in.

    • churdus - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      really interesting

  2. supercoop8 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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