UK launches new investigation into match-fixing

UK launches new investigation into match-fixing

The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has launched a new investigation into a possible match-fixing scheme in England after a tabloid newspaper on Sunday published a story in which a player revealed to an undercover reporter several events in the Championship, England's second tier, that could be predicted. .

The organization said in an official statement: “We confirm that The Sun newspaper has referred material from its own investigation to the National Crime Agency.”

“A criminal investigation is now underway, and we are working alongside the Football Association and the Betting Commission. Three people have been detained and are being questioned by National Football League officials. We cannot reveal more than this at this time.”

In its Sunday issue, the newspaper published an article in which a player claimed that he “caused” him to receive a yellow card in a second-tier league match, and that he received 30,000 pounds ($49,100,000) for that.

The same player said it would also be possible to “rig” matches in the Premier League, the elite division of domestic football.

The Football Association, the body that governs England's lower divisions, commented that it treated “any report of illegal activity in competitions with the utmost seriousness.”

“Due to the ongoing investigation into this case, we are unable to comment further. However, we encourage anyone with evidence to forward it to police,” CEO Sean Harvey said in a statement.

“We will provide full assistance to the police during the investigation.”

In another match-fixing report, four people, including two players from a semi-professional team in England's sixth tier, were accused of being linked to a popular international betting group.

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Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, both 22, Whitehawks players from Brighton; Chan Sankaran, a 33-year-old player from Singapore, and Krishna Sanjay Jani, a 43-year-old man with dual English and Singaporean citizenship, were charged with conspiracy against common law.

At the beginning of the year, a Europol investigation discovered a huge illegal betting network coming from Singapore.

Some 680 suspicious matches, including Champions League, World Cup and European Nations Cup qualifiers, were identified in the investigation, although experts stress that it was already known that many matches were rigged.

The last major match-fixing scandal in England occurred in the mid-1960s, when 10 players were convicted.

(Reporting by Justin Palmer)

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