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FIFA to probe EPL spot-fixing claims

By Tom McGowan, CNN
July 11, 2012 -- Updated 1919 GMT (0319 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA will look into claims of spot-fixing in the English Premier League
  • Claus Lundekvam claims players made money out of betting on match events
  • The former Southampton defender played in the EPL between 1996 and 2005
  • The EPL say the matter is under the remit of the English Football Association

(CNN) -- World soccer's governing body FIFA is to examine a retired footballer's claims spot-fixing was rife in the English Premier League.

Former Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam told a Norwegian television channel he and other players in the English top flight had made money out of betting on minor events in a game such as the first throw-in.

"FIFA is monitoring this issue and involved its chief investigator in England," read a statement from the organization. "Once all information is known it will be decided who is leading the investigations."

Lundekvam, who played in the EPL between 1996 and 2005, said deals were done with the opposing team's captain.

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"For a while we did this almost every week," said the former Norway international. "We made a fair bit of money. We could make deals with the opposing captain about.

"For example, betting on the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or a penalty. Those were the sorts of thing we had influence over.

"The results were never on the agenda. That is something I would never have done. We were professional competitors. Even though what we did, of course, was illegal, it was just a fun thing."

The Premier League insisted the case was a matter for the English Football Association.

"The FA has strict policies on this and our sanctions are wide-ranging," said a FA spokesman. "All participants also have a duty to report any such activity.

"Football works closely with the gambling industry to monitor all markets and activity and we have a unit focused on maintaining the integrity of the sport."

Spot-fixing shook the world of cricket last year when three Pakistan internationals were jailed for conspiracy to corrupt during a Test match against England in 2010.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and the bowling pair of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were all handed prison terms and handed bans of varying lengths by the International Cricket Council.

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