Welsh police swoop to arrest 10 in match-fixing probe

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August 10 – Police have arrested 10 people as part of a probe into alleged match-fixing in the little-known Welsh Premier League.

Lower-league fixtures are traditionally most at risk from criminal gangs and the same pattern appears to have hit the fixture between Port Talbot Town and Rhyl in April. Port Talbot lost 5-0 to already-relegated Rhyl who had not won in 17 previous matches.

South Wales Police said seven men and three women, all reportedly from Wales, had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and were all in custody.

The matter was initially referred to the Gambling Commission by the Football Association of Wales before police were contacted.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said the arrests followed a “thorough process of evidence-gathering”.

The news represented a blow to the image of the Welsh game which gained so many friends at Euro 2016 when the national team reached the semifinals.

“The FAW remains committed to our integrity education programme, which began in 2014, as well as the monitoring and reporting systems we have in place which have contributed to these arrests,” said Ford.

“The FAW will not bring any sporting sanctions against any individuals while the police investigation is ongoing.”

Gambling Commission programme director Richard Watson said the body’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) had “provided information to South Wales Police concerning betting patterns” seen during the game in question.

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