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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Dec 9, 2013

UK sport leaders to discuss fixing

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

Leaders across a range of sports in the United Kingdom have been invited to a Government meeting to discuss best practice in the wake of the recent fixing allegations.

Maria Miller, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, invited senior officials from football, tennis, cricket, rugby union and rugby league to discuss methods of combating the issue.

Representatives from the Premier League, the Football League, the Gambling Commission and the British Horseracing Authority will be present and a Government source told Press Association Sport: “We want to make sure no stone is left unturned in the fight against match-fixing in sport.”

The meeting, to be held in London on Tuesday, was called after six people were arrested amid claims of spot-fixing, which involves the manipulation of individual aspects of a match -- such as deliberately earning yellow or red cards -- for the purpose of defrauding bookmakers.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating, but the meeting on Tuesday is expected to feature calls for fixing to be made a criminal offence as, at present, police are forced to charge those responsible with fraud or other related offences.

The Guardian reports that the Football Association is open to forming part of a cross-sport anti-corruption body and is hoping to see greater sharing of intelligence across sporting and law authorities across the globe to help combat the issue.

Former Premier League chief executive Rick Parry expressed his support told the newspaper: “The problem comes when you add the international dimension. A lot of the problems, particularly in football, will emanate from Asia. But not all of them [the problems] -- horse racing, for example, that has a fantastic integrity unit, is ahead of the field but they still find they have a lot of issues in the regulated English markets.

“In terms of a pan-sports unit [it would] support and help really pool together the co-ordination of the activities of the sports, the betting operators and the police.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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