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Wenger stands by English football

London: Match–fixing cannot be eradicated but English football is 99.9 per cent clean, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday shortly before two men were remanded in custody after being charged with conspiracy to defraud.

“I don’t believe that in England people fix matches, but we live in an international world and you cannot just stop it at the border anymore,” Wenger said on Friday.

“It’s a new problem that we all face.

“I still think that 99.9 per cent, the English game is completely clean. I hope that (the recent charges) are an isolated incident.”

“When you see the happiness of the players when they score goals, even in the lower divisions, the passion of the fans when I was at Barnet for example, I can’t believe there is a match-fixing problem in England.

“Can it be eradicated completely? I’m not sure. Is it a concern for me and you who love the game? Certainly yes.”

Wenger said match fixing needed to be fought around the world to save the sport from a bleak future.

“Once you don’t know anymore if everyone is genuine out there, that is something absolutely disastrous,” he said.       (Reuters)