IRELAND has become embroiled in the alleged match-fixing scandal that has recently shocked the global football sphere.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Government held urgent talks last night after secret recordings revealed an alleged fixer specifically mentioning Ireland when talking about World Cup qualification matches.
According to The Daily Telegraph he said: “I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier”.
The Singaporean national made the comments in a secretly recorded meeting in Manchester where he said that he had organised football fixtures around the world.
His comments have stretched the investigation that initially focused on Asian match-fixers who focused on the lower leagues in England, to other football nations.
The FAI communicated with officials at the English FA after Ireland became involved in the discussion about match-fixing.
“The FA told us they don’t believe there is Irish involvement at this stage, but we’ll have to keep an eye on it and watch it,” said a FAI spokesperson.
The football authorities in Ireland have worked closely with UEFA, FIFA and Interpol, in recent years, to combat the influence of betting.
Several League of Ireland games have come under suspicion in the past, and the authorities are aware of the large amounts of money being gambled on Irish football from abroad.
News of the present scandal broke earlier in the week of an illegal betting syndicate, and two people have since been charged with fraud over alleged match-fixing in English football according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Singapore national Chann Sankaran, 33, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, 43, with dual UK and Singapore nationality, are charged with conspiracy to defraud.
The men are due to appear in court today in England. They were among six people held earlier this week, including a former English Premier League footballer, and a seventh person has now been arrested.
The NCA said the maximum sentence for the offences was 10 years in prison.