Footballers’ union chief warns of fixing threat after Facey jailed

Footballers’ union chief warns of fixing threat after Facey jailed

Friday, May 1, 2015 Totally Gaming
Footballers’ union chief warns of fixing threat after Facey jailed

Gordon Taylor, the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association in England, has told TotallyGaming.com that the imprisonment of former Premier League star Delroy Facey highlights the threat of match fixing in football.

Facey – once of Bolton Wanderers, Hull City and West Bromwich Albion – was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty of conspiring to bribe non-League players.

Taylor told TotallyGaming.com: “It is disappointing and sad to see such a case and highlights the dangers of not just players or former players but anyone involved in the game getting involved with unscrupulous individuals who have no regard for the people they corrupt and the integrity of the sport.

“The PFA has been at the forefront of betting integrity and match fixing education in professional football and has been advising its members in the Premier League and Football League on the dangers of match fixing over many years.”

Facey has become the highest profile English footballer to be found guilty of match fixing since England stars Tony Kay and Peter Swan were jailed in 1964. 

Former non-League player Moses Swaibu was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery along with Facey and jailed for 16 months, the same punishment given to another former non-League player, Michael Boateng, for his part in the conspiracy.

The charges came initially from a National Crime Agency investigation into match fixing, which found that Facey was attempting to entice players into fixing results on behalf of Krishna Ganeshan and Singaporean national Chann Sankaran, who were both jailed for five years in 2014.

In one text conversation in late 2013, Facey tried to corrupt a Hyde FC player by offering him £2,000. During the messages, Facey told the player a friend who was betting would provide the cash.

In sentencing, Judge Mary Stacey told Facey: “It's about the fans of the teams involved, the families who follow the fortunes of their teams with passion, loyalty and devotion. You have betrayed all that trust, all that confidence and it's like a cancer at the heart of football.”

Ecky Tiwana, in mitigation for Facey, said: “The stigma of being the most high-profile footballer being convicted of this type of offence – that will have a lasting effect on him, for the rest of his life.”

This week the ESSA revealed that it had passed on three incidents of suspicious betting activity in football to the game's authorities during the first three months of 2015.

It also reported 17 incidents related to tennis, two from table tennis and one each from ice hockey and snooker.

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