Former Player Alleges Involvement In Premier League Betting Scams
FIFA will investigate spot-fixing claims made by EPL Southampton ex-captain Claus Lundekvam, who has claimed that he and other players "were involved in the betting fraud," according to Jamie Jackson of the London GUARDIAN. A FIFA statement read: "FIFA is monitoring this issue and involved its chief investigator in England. Once all information is known it will be decided who is leading the investigations" (GUARDIAN, 7/11).
ALARM BELL: The London TELEGRAPH reported that Lundekvam claimed that "he put huge bets on minor incidents in games," such as who would win the first throw-in or corner. Then, after conspiring with opposition players, "ensured they happened at the correct time." Lundekvam claims he and fellow Premiership players "raked in thousands of pounds betting on their own games," and for a while did it "almost every week." Lundekvam said, "The results were never on the agenda. That is something I would never have done. We were professional competitors" (TELEGRAPH, 7/11). In London, Ed Hawkins wrote that the allegations made by Lundekvam have sounded an "alarm bell" for English football by an anti-corruption expert. Former FIFA Security Head Chris Eaton, who is now Int'l Centre for Sport Security Dir, said the player's claims suggested a "permissive culture" with regard to gambling corruption. Eaton said, "This is a big alarm bell. The Premier League needs to look deeply at what's been said" (LONDON TIMES, 7/11).
DENIALS: The BBC reported that ex-Southampton captain Francis Benali "has denied there was a culture of spot-fixing at the club." Benali said, "I can say categorically I have no knowledge of the betting allegations made by Claus. Dressing rooms are very tight environments, and if something was widespread, even if you weren't part of it, you would hear it being discussed and talked about" (BBC, 7/11).