Football match- fixers should be banned for life insists Forest Green chairman Dale Vince

4:43pm Thursday 28th November 2013

By Ashley Loveridge

FOREST Green chairman Dale Vince insists anyone taking part in match - fixing should be banned for life.

Police arrested six men on Wednesday, into alleged match-fixing – linked to Asian betting syndicates - in English non-League football.

Vince said: “The first we knew about this was when we heard about it on the news. It's so hard to understand how anyone involved in football could want fix the result of a game just to win a bet - how anything can be more important than seeing your team play their very best; win, lose or draw.

"Anyone caught involved in this should be banned from football for life."

The Conference, the fifth tier of English football comprising professional and semi-professional clubs, has refused to comment over allegations some of its matches had been fixed by an overseas betting syndicate.

However in a statement on their website, the organisation said: "The Football Conference has become aware of a story published today concerning arrests being made over alleged match fixing.

"The Football Conference takes all matters relating to the integrity of the game very seriously but it cannot make any comment on today's story as it would be inappropriate to do so."

The arrests, which were first reported late on Wednesday, are said to include three current footballers and one former player who appeared in the Premier League and is now an agent but still playing in a league at a level lower than the Conference.

The Daily Telegraph, which has been investigating match-fixing, reported the matches are all in the lower leagues.

Rovers were cleared over suspicious betting patterns four years ago during a match at Grays Athletic on the final day of the season.

Two bookmakers suspended betting on the game in April 2009 after a high number of wagers were laid on the half-time and full-time score.

Forest Green said the Gambling Commission had found "insufficient evidence" to prosecute.

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