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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Dec 8, 2013

Campbell arrested in match-fixing probe

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger doesn't believe there is a widespread match-fixing problem in England.

Blackburn striker DJ Campbell was one of the six people arrested by police following match-fixing claims, according to a report in the Sun.

Campbell, 32, who has played Premier League football for Birmingham, Blackpool and most recently QPR is under scrutiny for a tackle on Ipswich Town’s Aaron Cresswell during a league game last Tuesday.

He was held by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers and is the most high-profile name to be detained so far in relation to claims of match-fixing by illegal betting syndicates. Blackburn confirmed his arrest on Monday morning in an official club statement.

Over the weekend the NCA confirmed it was looking into video evidence supplied by the Sun that ex-Portsmouth defender Sam Sodje said he could arrange for footballers in the Championship to get themselves a yellow card in return for tens of thousands of pounds.

He 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.

Also on film, former West Ham player Cristian Montano, now of Oldham Athletic, appeared to explain how he attempted to get a yellow card during a match against Wolves in return for cash.

The Sun report claims that club managers have been concerned about the prospect of match-fixing for months, something League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan confirmed.

He said: “I’d say there have been occasions where we have debated such issues. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to go through them in public.

“What is important is that The FA, Premier League and Football League continue to make sure our game is continuing to move forward. Whether it is cricket or football all around the world there are issues in this 24/7 internet and social media world that puts a lot of pressure on.

“There needs to be really strong leadership at the top.”

On Monday afternoon it was reported by the Press Association that five of the six players have now been bailed until April 2014.

The NCA then said on Monday night that the sixth individual being questioned has also now been released on bail until April.

A statement from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) read: "The PFA is aware of the reports in yesterday's media regarding allegations of 'match fixing' and other related activity.

"These allegations, if proven, unfortunately demonstrate the real issue football faces in terms of corruption and highlights the necessity of the work carried out by the PFA and other stakeholders in the game in educating players of these risks. We take the issue of integrity very seriously and will continue in our efforts to eradicate this evil from our game.

"In terms of these specific reports, due to the on-going investigation by the National Crime Agency, we are unable to comment further at this time."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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