Match-fixers target World Cup friendly in London

 

Investigations Reporter

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating suspected attempts to fix a World Cup friendly between Scotland and Nigeria due to be played in London.

Security officials responsible for serious and organised crime have expressed concerns to the world governing body FIFA and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) about the fixture, which is scheduled to be played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

The Independent has been told that the game was “red-flagged” by the Gambling Commission, who uncovered intelligence regarding suspicious betting activity, thought to have been carried out by syndicates in the Far East.

The watchdog got in touch with the NCA, who have held talks with SFA head of security, Peter McLaughlin.

Wednesday’s game is a warm-up for Nigeria’s World Cup campaign next month in Rio de Janeiro where they are due to face Argentina, Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Fears of corruption inside the world’s most popular sport have grown following a series of arrests regarding suspected attempts to fix matches in lower English football leagues.

Nick Garlic, a senior official at Europol, has previously criticised the Football Association’s commitment to tackling corruption and said he believed match fixers had worked in Britain.

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