UK Government Set Up Meeting to Discuss Match-Fixing Scandals
December 10, 2013
The UK government has scheduled a summit meeting with senior sports officials following the arrests of footballers over allegations of spot-fixing.
Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will host the meeting in London today with representatives from football, tennis, cricket, rugby union and rugby league.
Blackburn striker DJ Campbell is the most high-profile player to be arrested, while Sam and Akpo Sodje, along with their businessman brother Steven, are also under investigation.
Oldham midfielder Cristian Montano was also arrested, along with Tranmere defender Ian Goodison, with all six bailed until April.
Campbell incurred a yellow card in the Championship clash against Ipswich last week – an incident which is believed to be at the centre of police enquiries.
Montano was filmed claiming that he agreed to get himself booked in return for cash, although he failed to incur a yellow card in the fixture against Wolves in October.
A Blackburn statement read: “Following reports in the national media, Blackburn Rovers can confirm that striker DJ Campbell has been arrested. The club will be making no further comment on what is now an ongoing legal matter.”
Speaking at a press conference, Oldham boss Lee Johnson confirmed Montano was being questioned and had been suspended without pay.
Lee also revealed he had rewritten his match programme notes for Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Chesterfield to reflect the mood at the club.
He said: “There’s no place for any kind of match fixing. It’s too beautiful a game for that.
“We’ve got to stamp it out. We have to remove people from the game that could ruin it.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association said: “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.”
Portsmouth have confirmed a meeting will be held with their players on Tuesday in the wake of the allegations towards Sam Sodje.
Chief executive Mark Catlin said: “All you can do is check the people around you, notice anything suspicious and inform the players how serious an issue this is.
“We will be doing that tomorrow (Tuesday) as a club, speaking to the players and saying we have to be self-policing. If anyone sees or hears anything suspicious it’s not a case of dropping a friend in it, it’s about upholding the integrity of the sport.
“Things like this need to be dealt with internally. The people who will root this out are the players, the managers and the people within football.”