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Two charged in UK match-fixing probe

ESPN staff
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Delroy Facey ended his career last year with Hereford United © PA Photos
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The National Crime Agency have confirmed that two people have been charged over alleged football match-fixing, with one further arrest being made.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that six men had been arrested on suspicion of fixing league matches in England following an investigation by the Daily Telegraph. Five men have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The newspaper reports that former Premier League player turned agent Delroy Facey was among those detained by the National Crime Agency, as well as at least three footballers.

It is claimed that match-fixers in Asia have been targeting English games and that one well-known fixer was apprehended on Tuesday evening when he entered the country.

In secretly recorded meetings, the fixer said lower league games in England could be rigged for £50,000 and apparently correctly predicted the outcome of three games played by the same team.

A statement from the National Crime Agency (NCA) read: "Six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged match-fixing.

"The focus is suspected international illegal betting syndicate. The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission & the FA. This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further details at this time."

None of the teams involved have been highlighted given the ongoing nature of the investigation, the Telegraph said, but none of them are thought to be at Premier League level.

The newspaper claims to have met in Manchester in the past fortnight with the fixer, from Singapore, who said gamblers in Asia could make hefty sums betting on rigged matches.

"In England the cost is very high … usually for the players it is £70,000," the Telegraph quoted him as saying. They reported he said he could fix two British matches in November and instruct certain players on his desired goal tally.

"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."

The newspaper reports the fixer correctly predicted the number of goals that would be scored in a match the next day and that he would pay an extra £5,000 to a player to get booked at the start of a game to show the fix was on.

"This is my team," he is reported to have said. "I know what they're going to do. I know because they all tell me every time. Because sometimes I have extra money, I just send them some money … because sometimes they need money or they call me so I just leave them some pocket money."

The man said his boss was Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer, who is from Singapore.

An FA spokesman told the Telegraph: "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."

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