Thursday 19 April 2018

Striker DJ Campbell held on suspicion of fixing matches

Blackburn striker DJ Campbell was one of six arrests
Blackburn striker DJ Campbell was one of six arrests

Dean Gray

Football bosses have vowed to continue to work to eradicate the "evil" of match-fixing from the game, as six players were arrested as part of a spot-fixing investigation.

Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell and five other players were detained in an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after information was passed to it by the 'Sun on Sunday' newspaper.

Five players, including Campbell, have been bailed until April, while a sixth was still being questioned yesterday.

It is believed the other players are Oldham Athletic player Christian Montano; Portsmouth player Sam Sodje (34); his brother Akpo (33), who plays for Tranmere Rovers; while Steven Sodje and Ian Goodison are also rumoured to have been detained.

In the wake of the arrests, the Professional Footballers' Association said it takes the issue of integrity very seriously.

A statement 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."

The Football Association said it was working closely with the NCA and other authorities while Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said it treated any allegations of criminal activity in its competitions with "the utmost seriousness".

According to the 'Sun on Sunday', an undercover investigator met former Portsmouth player Sam Sodje, who allegedly said he could arrange for footballers in the Championship to get themselves a yellow card in return for tens of thousands of pounds.

CUP

The 34-year-old claimed he could rig Premier League games and even said he was preparing to fix matches at next year's World Cup in Brazil, the newspaper reported.

It also alleged that Oldham player Montano failed to get a yellow card in return for money in a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on October 22 and offered to take part in another rigging incident.

'The Sun' reported that Campbell was arrested yesterday -- a day after he came on as a substitute against QPR in his team's Championship game.

The newspaper claimed that detectives were likely to review a yellow card he received for a tackle committed in the first half of Blackburn's league game against Ipswich Town last Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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