'English football 100% clean', claims Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday said he believed that English football was '100 percent clean' but admitted that he was shocked at the extent of the match-fixing claims in the European game.
"I don't think at all it (match-fixing) is a problem in the English game," he was quoted as saying on the Arsenal website arsenal.com in the wake of Europol claims this week about 380 suspect matches across Europe and 300 more across the world.
"That's why it's maybe a shock for us because we are convinced we live in a world in England where it's not a perfect world but I don't think cheating or match-fixing is a problem...
"I personally feel English football is clean of cheating 100 per cent. I don't think referees are corrupt."
Europol's revelations that Asian betting syndicates had conspired to fix matches across the continent and at all levels of the game, including top flight games, Champions League ties and World Cup qualifiers, have rocked football.
Wenger said that some countries were always known to have problems but he said it was "absolutely a surprise" to learn of the number of games under suspicion and he urged football to take a hard line to stamp out the issue.
"It's time that we tackle this problem in a very serious way and that people who cheat are punished in a very severe way as well," he added.
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