Segers: `no doubt on Everton game'

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Hans Segers, the Wimbledon goalkeeper who was one of three Premiership players questioned over match-rigging claims, said last night that his club's match against Everton at the end of last season is not under suspicion.

Segers, his former Wimbledon team-mate, John Fashanu, and the Southampton goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, were arrested last month in connection with match-fixing allegations but freed without being charged.

Segers played in Wimbledon's last match of last season, when they let slip a 2-0 lead over Everton to lose 3-2, thereby sending Sheffield United into the Endsleigh League instead of Everton.

Segers, who last night reaffirmed his innocence, explained that the Everton game was not in question. "They mentioned Liverpool away this season and Sheffield United a couple of years ago."

Segers, who has to report back to police on 4 July, added: "They can do one of two things: they can question me again - or they can say `sorry, Mr Segers, we've made a mistake and you can go'. I know I am innocent and I just want to carry on where I left off. The whole thing came as a shock and I just want to put it behind me. A nightmare is the word to describe it.

"You are treated as a criminal and you haven't done anything. I spoke to my solicitor and he said there is nothing you can do. You just have to answer the questions."

Segers said media interest since the arrest had put considerable pressure on the family. "I have a brilliant wife, so many friends, and I've had to many letters and cards from the fans - that is what has helped me get over it so easily. And of course, Joe Kinnear [the manager] and Sam Hammam [the chairman] are 100 per cent behind me."

n Jack Charlton is unlikely to allow any of the eight Endsleigh League players in his Republic of Ireland squad to face Portugal in their European Championship qualifier in Dublin on 26 April to play for their clubs on the previous weekend, when Sheffield United v Wolves and Tranmere v Southend are likely to be postponed. Mike Smith, the Wales manager, is unlikely to impose the five-day rule on any of his squad for the game against Bulgaria on the same day.

Squads, Sporting Digest, page 39