|The Australian national team during a practice session. The fixer claimed that he rigged matches in the Australian league
World Cup qualification matches may have been fixed by the international gambling syndicate at the centre of the British football scandal.
The alleged fixer arrested earlier this week claimed he fixed World Cup games and matches in Europe and Australia.
During a secretly recorded meeting earlier this month, he said “I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier”.
He claimed to control the entire team for one African country, which cannot be named for legal reasons.
Great Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which has launched an investigation into match-fixing in lower leagues, is now co-operating with other international law enforcement agencies following this week’s arrests.
During meetings in Manchester earlier this month, the fixer told the undercover investigator with links to Fifa, that he could pay referees and players to manipulate the results of games.
However, during the course of the conversations about English matches, the fixer also said that he could rig matches “all over” the world, except in Singapore where the penalties are very high.
“I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier,” he said.
“What, the World Cup?”, asked the investigator.
“At least 15,” the alleged fixer claimed. “I bought the match.”
The Singaporean national claimed that he controlled one African country’s “whole team”.
The fixer said that he worked closely with a registered Fifa agent, which meant he could organise matches throughout the world.
“He’s a very close friend”, explained the alleged fixer. “My boss is the one who asked him to spend the money to get the licence.”
The alleged fixer claimed to have set up international friendly matches. Some of these matches have already been the focus of concern amid allegations they were fixed.
In a series of covertly recorded conversations, the alleged fixer was asked how the illicit trade worked.
Asked if the betting syndicate paid for the Fifa licence, the alleged fixer replied: “Yeah so he is very close with me… I’m the one who’s sending money… He can organise any match around the world…
“That’s the reason why I say I can organise any game any tournament… ’Cause I use his licence I will ask him if ok he can arrange international friendly for this team before, usually before any World Cup match or any tournament there will be friendly match, just a warm up match.”
In a later meeting, the fixer boasted about the teams he could use to control matches in Europe.
“I got team in Belgium. France as well,” said the alleged fixer.
“Good teams. Their country, most of these places their salaries are very low… Like Germany, the players, they pay high… France not so high. Very moderate. But Finland, Belgium, Sweden, all everybody all [earn] very less [sic]”.
The NCA has arrested six men — including three footballers and Delroy Facey, a player–turned –agent who has played in the Premier League — who are suspected of involvement in an international betting syndicate.
It is the first time in decades that police have amassed sufficient evidence to hold those suspected of attempting to fix a match in Britain, following a series of similar scandals abroad.
In a statement, the NCA said: “Six men have been arrested across Great Britain 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.”
The operation is one of the first by the agency, dubbed Britain’s FBI, which was launched this year to fight suspected organised and serious crime.