herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Suspect match-fixer says World Cup and games in Ireland were targeted

Delroy Facey, a former Premier League footballer. Photo PA
Delroy Facey, a former Premier League footballer. Photo PA

WORLD Cup qualifiers and football matches in Ireland have been mentioned in connection with an alleged international match-fixing scandal.

Authorities in the UK are investigating suspected match-fixing by an international betting syndicate. And now one of the alleged organisers has been recorded saying that games in Ireland were targeted as well.

An alleged fixer, who was arrested earlier this week, was secretly recorded talking about how he arranged matches.

"I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier," he said.

An investigator asks: "What, the World Cup?"

"At least, at least 15," the Singaporean national responded."

The FAI told the Herald it has had no contact from UEFA or FIFA about the claimed match-fixing here, nor has it been contacted by cross-border police agency Interpol.

ABNORMAL

"We'd have had contact with them at this stage if they had anything," a spokesman said."

He added that the FAI has an agreement with betting companies that includes "an early warning system to detect abnormal betting trends".

Irish football legend John Giles said: "I don't think it's possible to fix a match without involving a lot of people, and as we've seen with Serie A in Italy and Marseille, something as big as that will surface eventually.

"But since spread-betting became popular and the range of bets available widened, all sorts of cheating became possible in a variety of sports."

The alleged match-fixing in Britain is suspected to have taken place in the lower leagues.

Six men, including three footballers, have been arrested, among them Delroy Facey, a footballer plauying in the lower leagues.

hnews@herald.ie

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