Football - Flitcroft repulsed by match-fixing

Barnsley manager David Flitcroft said he was repulsed by the allegations of match-fixing in English lower league football.

PA Sport Report

The National Crime Agency have arrested six men in the last two days, including at least three players, alleged to have been involved in fixing football matches in the English lower leagues.

The arrests were made following a sting by the Daily Telegraph, in which it claims undercover reporters discussed the possibility of influencing the scores and outcomes of games for as little as B£50,000.

"Anything to do with fixing sport, we had the Italian scandal, snooker and cricket, I find it repulsive I really do," Flitcroft said.

"Sport is about equality, diversity, honesty and integrity and you cannot use any of these words when there's this sort of scandal.

"It sickens me to think that ex-players who have taken money out of the game would try and take some more in a dishonest way.

"If anyone would have asked me to fix a game or do anything like that I would have punched them because it really does send me somewhere where I wouldn't want to get to.

"Everything in English football, passion and determination to win the game, to then go and try and throw a game or somehow be a part of throwing a football match - it's against all your natural instincts isn't it?

"I feel very strongly about this. We've got to do something about it, everything we can as a deterrent to make sure it doesn't happen on English soil.

"The world's a big place and if it happens on foreign soil there's not a lot we can do about it, but I did expect us to have more integrity than to get involved in that.

"They must be desperate people to try and get a little bit more money out of a syndicate, but the Asian market is absolutely massive when it comes to betting, the amount of people making money from sport.

"Are you ever going to be able to control it? You're not are you?

"But we have to do something and when the guys get named I certainly won't have any sympathy for them."

At least three current footballers and an agent are believed to have been arrested as part of an NCA crackdown on an "international betting syndicate", the Telegraph reported.

A spokesman for the NCA said: "Six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged football match fixing. The focus of the operation is a suspected international illegal betting syndicate.

"The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association. This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further detail at this time."

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