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More players held over spot-fixing

ESPN staff
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Seven further players from Football League clubs based in the North-West of England have been arrested in connection with alleged spot-fixing, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

In December, six suspects were arrested as part of a probe by the NCA - which was acting on information passed to them by The Sun on Sunday newspaper - before being bailed to return on April 8.

Seven more players have now been added to that list, while another six were rearrested over the claims.

The 13 footballers, aged between 18 and 30, are being interviewed at police stations across the country after they were held as part of an investigation into alleged bribery and money laundering, the NCA said.

The Sun on Sunday reported that an undercover investigator met former Portsmouth player Sam Sodje, who allegedly said he could arrange for footballers in the Championship to get themselves a yellow card in return for tens of thousands of pounds.

The 34-year-old also claimed he could rig Premier League games and even said he was preparing to fix matches at next year's World Cup in Brazil, the newspaper reported.

At the time Pompey said Sodje no longer played for the club but they would cooperate fully with any investigation if it was approached by the authorities.

It was also claimed that Oldham player Cristian Montano failed to get a yellow card in return for money in a match against Wolves on October 22 and offered to take part in another rigging incident.

Oldham said they would carry out an immediate internal investigation into the allegations.

Blackburn striker DJ Campbell was confirmed to be one of the six players who were arrested in December.

A Football League spokesman said: "The Football League has been made aware that a number of arrests have been made in relation to an ongoing police investigation. We will provide our full cooperation to the relevant authorities. Given that it is an ongoing matter, we cannot comment further at this time.''

The FA released a brief statement which read: "The FA has been made aware of developments in relation to an ongoing NCA investigation, including a number of further arrests. We are liaising with the authorities in relation to these allegations. The FA will make no further comment at this time.''

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