London: The National Crime Agency is investigating a fresh series of match-fixing allegations after claims that a former Premier League player said he could influence games in return for cash.
Sam Sodje allegedly boasted that he could control events such as bookings, according to allegations in The Sun on Sunday.
It is also alleged that Sodje punched an opponent in the groin to get sent off and receive a bung of £70,000. The incident allegedly occurred when he was playing for Portsmouth against Oldham Athletic in February this year.
Sodje allegedly showed footage of himself hitting Oldham’s Jose Baxter and told The Sun reporter: “OK listen. This is when I was playing. Do you know how much I got for that? £70k. Do you know how much I got fined? I got fined ten grand and I missed six games.
“I had to do it because the referee wasn’t booking me. Come on, who does that? Why would you do it on the pitch? I was tackling, tackling, it wasn’t working and I went f*** that, I'm off.”
The former Portsmouth player, 34, who is currently a free agent, also said he had arranged for one player to get a yellow card in exchange for “three bags, three zero”, meaning £30,000.
In interviews recorded by the paper and handed to the NCA, Sodje reportedly said: “This guy came to meet me at my house and it was sorted. That’s how easy it is – it’s nothing.”
This former Premier League player, who now plays in the Championship, duly got booked in the match in which Sodje said he would, according to The Sun.
Sodje, who played in the Premier League for Reading, also allegedly claimed he could fix top flight games although it would take “a lot” of money. A spokesman for the NCA said last night: “We have received some information from The Sun on Sunday and as a result of that there is an ongoing investigation that is taking place.”
The allegations come after The Daily Telegraph revealed members of an alleged betting syndicate had been attempting to fix English football games.