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Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell arrested in match-fixing investigation

Updated: Monday, 09 Dec 2013 21:29

DJ Campbell scoring for Blackpool
DJ Campbell scoring for Blackpool

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed that their striker DJ Campbell has been arrested as part of a spot-fixing investigation.

"Following reports in today's national media, Blackburn Rovers can confirm that striker DJ Campbell has been arrested," the Championship club said in a statement.

"The club will be making no further comment on what is now an ongoing legal matter."

Six people, including Campbell, have been bailed until April the English National Crime Agency said.

The NCA has launched a second probe into alleged match-fixing in English soccer after a Sunday newspaper claimed a player told an undercover reporter he could guarantee certain events in a Championship match.

"The NCA can confirm that the Sun on Sunday has passed material from its own investigation to the National Crime Agency," an NCA statement said.

"An active NCA investigation is now underway and we are working closely with the Football Association and the Gambling Commission. Five people were arrested on Sunday morning, and bailed that evening until April 2014.

"A sixth individual was arrested on Sunday evening and is being questioned by NCA officers."

Campbell, 32, played for Blackpool and Queen's Park Rangers in the Premier League before joining Blackburn in July.

The Sun on Sunday said it had evidence of a player saying he arranged a booking in a recent Championship match in which another received a £30,000 payment for getting a yellow card.

The same player allegedly boasted he could also ‘rig’ Premier League games.

According to the newspaper, 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.

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.

"Anybody who saw that report will have been devastated and sick to their stomachs" - Oldham manager Lee Johnson

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

Oldham confirmed Montano had been arrested and that the club had suspended him without pay while the investigation was ongoing.

Oldham manager Lee Johnson told the official club website: "Anybody who saw that report will have been devastated and sick to their stomachs.

"However, we have to let the authorities do their job and duties, and we cannot prejudice that."

In Campbell's case, detectives are likely to review a yellow card he received for a tackle committed in the first half of Blackburn's league game against Ipswich last Tuesday.

He signed for Blackburn in July after previously joining the club on loan from QPR last February.

Another of the suspects was reported to be Sodje's brother Akpo, 33, who plays for Tranmere, who said they were aware of the allegations but would make no further comment.

"The regulations actually state if you are approached you have to report it to the FA" - Simon Barker of the PFA

Simon Barker, assistant chief executive of the English Professional Footballers' Association, said players had to protect themselves and report any approaches or information about match-fixing.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "We would say to players 'if you hear of any information or you are approached then make sure you protect yourself by telling somebody at the club or the players' union or speak to the FA'.

"The regulations actually state if you are approached you have to report it to the FA.

"This has become a major issue and its something that goes across all nations and across all sports."

In a separate match-fixing investigation, four people have been charged, including two players from an English sixth tier semi-professional team, in connection with an alleged international illegal betting syndicate.

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