Facey arrested in fixing probe
Facey arrested in fixing probe
Former Premier League footballer Delroy Facey is understood to be one of six people arrested in an investigation into alleged match-fixing.
The arrests are reported to also include three current footballers and are part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) crackdown on a suspected "international betting syndicate".
Facey, 33, did not turn up to play for his club Albion Sports as scheduled against Athersley Recreation in the NCEL Premier League on Wednesday night, according to the club's secretary Jaj Singh.
Singh said: "He was due to come but didn't turn up. He was named on the sub's bench but was a no show. I have no idea. He's been with us about three months and is a cracking lad."
Facey scored two in an 8-1 win over Armthorpe Welfare on Saturday and has scored six goals for Albion Sports this season.
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 lower-league English games for as little as £50,000.
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."
In a meeting filmed secretly by The Daily Telegraph, a fixer from Singapore claimed gamblers could stand to make hundreds of thousands of pounds using insider information to place bets with Asian companies.
The man, who met undercover reporters in Manchester, is reported to have planned to target two matches this month.
Explaining how he would ensure players deliver a particular scoreline, he told an undercover reporter: "In England the cost is very high... usually for the players it is £70,000.
"So I talk to them. Double confirm. I also tell them, I tell ... this [is] what I want ... Because simple, I commit myself and they commit. So you tell me how many goals ... Give me at least five ... either 3-2, 4-0 or zero, ... for me four is enough."
It is not believed that any Premier League sides are involved in the scandal, but the identities of those clubs affected cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.
A Football Association spokesman said: "The FA has been made aware of a number of arrests in relation to an NCA investigation.
"We have worked closely with the authorities in relation to these allegations. The FA will make no further comment at this time due to ongoing investigations."
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it has liaised with the NCA during the investigation.
In one of the Manchester meetings, the alleged fixer explained that the syndicate would use a yellow card at the beginning of the game as a signal that the match was fixed.
He said: "For example, within the first 10 minutes, I will ask them to take one yellow card. So, one yellow card is about £5,000.
"So I say [to the player], okay, in the first 10 minutes I need to see the yellow. If there's no yellow, that's it, I will not pay you anything."
In a statement, Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the league had not yet been contacted by the police.
"We understand from media reports that there is an ongoing Police investigation into alleged match fixing in domestic football," the statement said.
"To date, we have had no contact from the Police regarding this matter.
"The threat of corruption is something that The Football League and the other football authorities treat with the utmost seriousness.
"The integrity of our matches and our competitions is the bedrock of the domestic game."
Meanwhile, the Football Conference issued a statement on its official website this morning.
It said: "The Football Conference has become aware of a story published today concerning arrests being made over alleged match fixing.
"The Football Conference takes all matters relating to the integrity of the game very seriously but it cannot make any comment on today's story as it would be inappropriate to do so."
Facey played for a number of clubs during a professional career which started out with hometown side Huddersfield in 1996.
Impressive performances for Town brought him to the attention of Bolton manager Sam Allardyce who gave him his Premier League chance.
He scored in successive matches against Everton and Birmingham in 2003 but was unable to win a permanent spot and eventually moved on, first on loan to Bradford and Burnley before signing for West Brom.
Several other clubs followed, including Hull, Rotherham and a return to Huddersfield, before he wound down his full-time career with Lincoln and then Hereford with 77 career goals from 353 appearances.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for the allegations to be investigated.
He told LBC Radio: "It needs to be looked at. Like any person who follows football I've read accounts of football match fixing in other countries and thought there by the grace of god go we.
"To hear that it's now being investigated here, there have been arrests in the Midlands, is very worrying.
"I hope that's the sum total of it. It would be terrible if we look back in months and years to come and discover this is the tip of (the iceberg)."
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