West case lawyer in Grobbelaar inquiry

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The Independent Online
The man who prosecuted mass killer Rosemary West has been appointed by the Football Association to present its case against some of the game's leading figures accused in the betting and bungs scandals.

Brian Leveson QC will this week represent the FA at hearings which could lead to worldwide bans from football being imposed on Bruce Grobbelaar and Hans Segers.

Both players were cleared of match-rigging at criminal trials earlier this year.

But during their evidence they both admitted to taking money from a Far East betting syndicate for advice on the likely outcome of matches.

The FA's lawyers, Freshfields, maintain this was a clear breach of rule 26.A4, which forbids players from assisting in betting on matches other than authorised football pools. The players are charged with "misconduct".

Mr Leveson, will also act for the FA at another disciplinary hearing concerning the alleged payment of cash "bungs" to facilitate the transfer of players. No one has yet been charged in connection with the case, but the FA plan to announce names later this month.

Terry Venables, the Australia coach, Brian Clough, former Nottingham Forest manager, and Steve Burtenshaw, former Arsenal scout, were among those criticised in a Premier League report on the affair which will provide the evidence for any disciplinary hearings.

FA sources expressed frustration that the League's inquiry had taken more than three years and that much of the evidence - which runs to 10,200 pages - was stale and many of the witnesses had either left the game or left the country.

On Thursday and Friday, Mr Grobbelaar, 39, and Mr Segers, 35, will appear before an FA disciplinary commission, sitting at a hotel near Heathrow airport.

Mel Goldberg, the solicitor representing Mr Segers, said that he would be arguing that all of the matches on which his client provided betting advice took place in Holland.

It is believed that Mr Grobbelaar, the former Liverpool goalkeeper, will argue that the hearings are unfair because he has already been freed by a court of law.