Sky sources: Delroy Facey one of six men questioned over match-fixing allegations

Delroy Facey: Questioned over match-fixing claims, according to Sky sources

Former Bolton striker Delroy Facey has been named by Sky sources as one of the six men questioned over match-fixing allegations.

Facey, who now works as an agent, and the others were detained this week by the National Crime Agency as part of a probe into an Asian betting syndicate, following an investigation by the Daily Telegraph.

Three of the other suspects are said to be current footballers, while it is understood the probe involves clubs in the Football Conference.

During an undercover video recorded by the paper, an internationally known fixer, who claims 'players can be bought for £70,000', correctly predicts the results of three games played by the same team.

Sky News' Paul Kelso spoke exclusively to one of the undercover investigators used by the Daily Telegraph.

Police have made six arrests, including three footballers, into allegations of match-fixing in Britain.

Michael Pride, who runs Australian based agency Sports Intelligence, explained how gambling syndicates work in general and alleged that English football had been a target for many years.

"They've been in business - if you like to call it that - or fixing matches internationally for over a decade even probably more than that Paul (Kelso).

"We see this as a major impact on fixing internationally. They have been set up in this particular way with tentacles throughout the world. If they have one investor they will put 50,000 euros to pay the players and then on top of that they will be laying out about 200,000 euros on the betting market.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, especially with lower divisions, they're always a target for these syndicates that are looking at lower divisions and players and administrators of clubs and teams that can be manipulated easily with money and the attraction of money."

"They see the UK as a good place to base some syndicated members to control operations around the UK and Europe in general."

Sports lawyer Kevin Carpenter insists the problem of match-fixing needs to be tackled on a global scale and believes more focus needs to be on the individuals orchestrating the corruption.

He told Sky Sports News: "It is the single biggest threat to football and to sport more widely. It has ruined and stopped many leagues from functioning correctly, sponsors are walking away from the sport, it is a truly global problem.

"FIFA and Interpol have a 10-year agreement where they are doing a number of different initiatives. Interpol are doing a great amount of work in co-ordinating police forces because it is a global problem and police forces must work together.

"On the sporting sanction side they (people involved in match-fixing) are likely to face lengthy bans from the sport - life bans are being given by national associations and extended by FIFA - that is a ban from any activity in football, so it is the end of your career in that sport.

"I would stress that what we really need to do is focus on the criminals behind the players, who get to them and force them to match-fix, sometimes under duress, we need to arrest these people, imprison them and cut off their funding."

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios also admits football authorities need help if they are going to combat the problem.

"This is something that's been coming for quite some time," Palios told Sky Sports News.

"I think FIFA and UEFA have seen this because it's a worldwide phenomenon and it was naïve to suggest that our game at some stage would not be impacted by it. I'm disappointed, but not necessarily surprised."

FIFA's former head of security Chris Eaton believes a third of football-playing nations have been affected in recent years.

Former FIFA head of security Chris Eaton points out that match fixing in sport is a global problem following allegations of fixing in English football.

"This should come as no surprise to anyone. Match fixing has been endemic around the world for at least five years," he said.

"This is not an English problem. It's a worldwide problem and the way to sort this out is by a global approach. Governments have to stop cow-towing to sport and put together regulations for sports betting.

"This is damaging to football. England is the home of football where there is so much passion for the game and when match-fixing touches England it touches the whole world of football.

"However, this is about the 60th country in the last five years - one-third of the world's football-playing nations - to have been investigated for match-fixing."

Declan Hill is an investigative journalist who has written a book on match-fixing. He wasn't surprised by allegations of match fixing in English football.

Declan Hill, an investigative journalist who has written a book on match fixing, suggests the problem is spreading rapidly.

Hill said: "When I was watching (the secretly filmed footage) I was chuckling because I think I recognised some of the individuals concerned.

"The dialogue is entirely reasonable - the kind of thing you hear on a weekly basis from these kind of guys.

"We're no longer talking about the occasional match - we're talking about a new phenomenon of globalisation of sports corruption.

"The music and the travel industry have been revolutionised by globalisation and so has sports corruption.

"It's rife across Asia, it's rife across Africa and it's coming into Europe in a serious way."

Europol's Soren Pedersen echoed Hill's fears, saying: "It is not just Asian gangs it is also Russian-speaking criminals and criminals working out of the Balkans.

"It's big business for organised crime."

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