A former Premier League footballer who now plays for a Bradford club was among six people arrested as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing.
Albion Sports player Delroy Facey, 33, was one of three current footballers questioned as part of a National Crime Agency crackdown on a suspected “international betting syndicate”.
Facey, who spent a month on loan at Bradford City in 2002, did not turn up to play for Bradford-based Albion Sports in their match against Athersley Recreation in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division on Wednesday.
Two men have been charged as part of the investigation, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said last night.
Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old with dual UK and Singapore nationality, have been remanded in custody and were due to appear before Cannock Magistrates’ Court in Staffordshire today.
A seventh man has also been arrested and he and four others, including Mr Facey, were bailed yesterday pending further inquiries.
Facey scored 15 times in 75 appearances for his hometown club Huddersfield Town at the start of his career and went on to play in the Premier League with Bolton. He scored two goals for Albion Sports in an 8-1 win over Armthorpe Welfare on Saturday and has scored six goals for Albion this season.
The arrests were made following a sting by a national newspaper, in which it claims undercover reporters discussed the possibility of influencing the scores and outcomes of lower-league English games for £50,000.
A spokesman for the National Crime Agency said: “Six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged football match fixing. The focus of the operation is a suspected international illegal betting syndicate.
“The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association. This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further detail at this time.”
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it has liaised with the NCA during the investigation. In one of the Manchester meetings, the alleged fixer explained the syndicate would use a yellow card at the beginning of the game as a signal that the match was fixed.
In a statement, Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the league had not yet been contacted by the police.
“We understand from media reports that there is an ongoing police investigation into alleged match fixing in domestic football,” the statement said. “To date, we have had no contact from the police regarding this matter.
“The threat of corruption is something that The Football League and the other football authorities treat with the utmost seriousness. The integrity of our matches and our competitions is the bedrock of the domestic game.”