Wenger recalls French corruption

30 November 2013 08:01

Arsene Wenger does not believe comparisons should be made between this week's match-fixing allegations and the problems in French football in the 1990s.

Two men appeared in court on Friday charged with plotting to defraud bookmakers after a National Crime Agency investigation into alleged football match-fixing.

Chann Sankaran and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, both originally from Singapore, were not required to enter any plea during a five-minute hearing at Cannock Magistrates' Court in Staffordshire.

Arsenal boss Wenger has first-hand experience of the impact match-fixing can have from his time in charge of Monaco when French champions and 1993 European Cup winners Marseille were found guilty of corruption, relegated and thrown out of European competition by UEFA.

Wenger said: "That was much more serious.

"It was a period where European football was not clean, for different reasons, but I hope we have that behind us.

"Personally, it was one of the most difficult periods in my life, but I think even in France now the championship is completely clean."

Wenger recalled a time of rumour and suspicion, saying: "It's very difficult to prove

"You hear rumours and after that you cannot come out in the press and say this game was not regular. You must prove what you say

"There are little incidents added one to the other. In the end, there is no coincidence.

"Here we are in a completely different case, we hear about that and nobody ever talked about it. It's just a modern problem."

The suspects are reported to include three current footballers, and it emerged on Thursday that a former Premier League footballer, Delroy Facey, was among those arrested as part of the investigation.

The arrests were made following an investigation by the Daily Telegraph during which undercover reporters discussed the possibility of influencing the scores and outcomes of lower-league English games for as little as £50,000.

It is not believed that any Premier League sides are involved in the allegations.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho expressed his surprise at the claims.

He said: "It's very hard for me to understand. The match-fixing is something that doesn't go into my brain.

"I always believe that we all are in love with the game. In some jobs people have a job because they need their job, but they were not born for that and they do it because they have to live and they have to provide for their families.

"Football is not that kind of job. Football is the kind of job that you go into it because since you were a kid you were in love with it. Since you were a kid you were kicking a ball or you were watching and eating football on TV. It's a job with a passion."

Manchester United's David Moyes added: "I hope it isn't out there.

"Undoubtedly, the world we are in, there is always a chance. The way you can bet nowadays, you get bet every second on something, there is always the possibility something could be going on. But in my time I have never seen any of it."

Source: PA

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