London: Police officers have arrested six men, including three players, on suspicion of fixing football matches in England. More damagingly, at least three players are believed to have been detained as part of the alleged betting syndicate, as well as Delroy Facey, a former Premier League player who now works as an agent.
The arrests followed a `Daily Telegraph` investigation in which games in the UK were being targeted by fixers from Asia. According to the Press Association, a spokesman for the NCA (National Crime Agency) 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 a meeting filmed secretly by the English paper, a fixer from Singapore claimed gamblers could stand to make hundreds of thousands of pounds using insider information to place bets with Asian companies.
The man, who met undercover reporters in Manchester, is reported to have planned to target two matches this month. 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 Pound 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. A Football Association spokesman said: "The FA has been made aware of a number of arrests in relation to an NCA investigation.
"We have worked closely with the authorities in relation to these allegations. The FA will make no further comment at this time due to ongoing investigations."