Football - Jones calls for match-fixing ban

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones said anybody found guilty of being involved in match-fixing should be banned from football for life.

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.

"Every time I'm asked this question I say the same thing - if players have done it they should be banned for life," Jones said.

"They're cheating people that pay good money to go and watch and you're cheating people who are working hard to try and get a result.

"I've only just seen bits of the story, I've not read it fully, but any figure in any sport, if you're taking away what people expect to happen for the gain of money, I think it's wrong and they should be banned for life.

"If this is proved to be correct, then as far as I'm concerned they should be kicked out of the game.

"If I heard anything or found out that a player had fixed a game, or tried to fix a game and I was trying to win that football match, my livelihood is at stake and everything else and they're more interested about picking up a few bob.

"I'd go and tell the authorities. I wouldn't hesitate. I wouldn't care who it was, I just wouldn't accept it.

"I'm working to keep my family going and pay my bills like everybody else, what would you do?

"I'd be absolutely devastated if one manager did not have the same response.

"It has to be clean, it's why we have drug-testing, it's why we get the PFA in talking about gambling and this and that.

"So if somebody on your pitch is cheating the rest of the team, then you wouldn't want them anywhere near the pitch."

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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