An unnamed player has been
arrested as part of an investigation into a football match-fixing
scandal that has rocked Norway this week, the country's football
association (NFF) said on Wednesday.
"Police have tonight arrested and charged a Follo player in
connection with the ongoing police investigation about the
possible manipulation of results," the NFF said in a statement
on their website, without giving further
details as to the person's identity.
"This is obviously a significant and serious development in
the case, but nevertheless it is still a player and an employee
at one of our member clubs, and I have to remind you that the
person is innocent until proven otherwise," Kjetil Siem, general
secretary of the NFF was quoted as saying.
Police are probing allegations that two games on June 24
were fixed with Ostsiden IL coming from 3-0 down to win 4-3
against Follo FK while Asker beat Frigg 7-1.
Follo FK told the FA they suspected their game was fixed and
began an internal investigation.
The FA then took the unprecedented step of cancelling the
game between Ullensaker/Kisa and Ham Kam. The day after that
match was scheduled, the NFF made an official complaint to
police in Oslo and a criminal investigation began.
"We have talked to some witnesses at the clubs and one
player, and we are going to ask more witnesses to
quality-control the information we have got from the NFF and
Follo," chief investigator Gro Smogeli told Reuters earlier on
Smogeli added that she had also been in contact with police
The NFF and the players' union, plus politicians and police
are all trying to get to grips with the growing scandal.
"There is no doubt that match-fixing is a devastating
problem to sport when it occurs, and that it threatens the whole
foundation which sport rests on," Norway's culture minister
Anniken Huitfeldt told Reuters by e-mail.
In the wake of the investigation, former Southampton
defender Claus Lundekvam told Norwegian broadcaster NRK he was
involved in betting on aspects of games that he had control over
during his time in the English Premier League.
Lundekvam, who played 53 games for Norwegian club Brann
before moving to England in 1996, said he made "good money"
betting with others on incidents such as the time of the first
throw-in or the first yellow card during games he played in.
On Wednesday, Valerengen coach Martin Andresen, who plays
for Follo FK in his spare time, told the Dagens Naringsliv
newspaper he gambled on a Spanish league game after a tip-off
from a player at one of the clubs involved that his team would
Joachim Waltin, president of the Norwegian Players' Union,
told Reuters gambling was a growing problem in the sport and his
organisation was working with the NFF and the police to inform
their members about the dangers.
"I think it's a problem here. We don't know how many but
we've seen it in the last few years. We've seen a couple of
players telling their stories about their problems.
"It's easier for them to ask for help and we can assist
them in certain situations. With young players with money going
through their hands and too much spare time outside of training,
it's always a risk."
Waltin said there were clear rules about gambling that
players have to follow and he had little time for those who
gamble on their own results at home or abroad.
"Our attitude towards this is that we don't like it and we
don't want it in Norwegian football, or in other countries."
Police, politicians and the NFF are reviewing how they
handle gambling and match-fixing to stop future incidents but
the NFF said it was unlikely to postpone any more games.
"I think in the future we will not stop the match,"
Norwegian FA president Yngve Hallen told Reuters, "but we will
give information to the referee, the [match] delegate and the
clubs, and say that we suspect that this match has been fixed,
and that we will be monitoring this match even more closely."
"It is difficult to judge how widespread the problem is in
Norway or internationally," said minister Huitfeldt, who has
initiated a national action plan to combat match-fixing.
"My view is that one incident of match-fixing is one too
Dutch players imprisoned for shocking death
One more season, but then...
Malaga man maintains Manchester/Madrid mania
Maracana applauds deep-lying playmaker
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010