A huge scandal has erupted in UK gambling news as six people have been arrested and questioned after an undercover journalist revealed a former professional footballer fixed the outcome of football matches in the English 3rd tier.
Sam Sodje – a former Nigeria international player was secretly filmed while vividly describing how he punched a player from the opposition in order to receive a red card during a League One game in February. In exchange he was paid L70,000 (€83,569/$114,706). His team, Portsmouth, went on to lose 1-0.
Sodje also confessed to arranging for another player to receive L30,000 by earning a yellow card during a Championship game. Moreover, Sodje alleged that he could arrange Premier League’s games and even matches at 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In addition, there were details on how Cristian Montano of, Oldham Athletic, apologized to Sodje for failing to receiving a yellow card during a game in October. Last, but not least Sodje’s brother, Akpo Sodje, from Tranmere Rovers, said he would also accept a bribe to influence a match.
Another player to have been arrested in conjunction with police investigations is Blackburn Rovers star DJ Campbell, but no details have been released yet as to his involvement in this betting scandal. With UK gambling laws proposing tough sanctions, these arrests could lead to a number of revelations in the game.
The National Crime Agency said: “An active NCA investigation is now under way and we are working closely with the Football Association and the Gambling Commission. Six people are in custody and are being questioned by NCA officers. We cannot comment further at this stage.”
This isn’t the first scandal to hit British football in recent times, as CEO of the Professional Footballers Association, Gordon Taylor, was found to have lost millions of pounds at online and mobile betting sites. This came despite his organization’s warnings to players over gambling.