sport

Scotland friendly investigated

Sky sources understand that the National Crime Agency have launched a match-fixing investigation into Wednesday night's game between Scotland and Nigeria at Craven Cottage.

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol said: "As far as the authorities are concerned, this is a very high-risk fixture, simply because it is an international friendly.

"Friendlies of this type have been targeted by match-fixers before, especially betting syndicates based in the Far East.

"Normally, an investigation has been launched when suspicious betting patterns have been monitored.

"It looks like this game has been flagged up, or another possibility is that a player has told the authorities he has been approached by fixers."

The SFA said: "We have liaised with the relevant authorities and will prepare for the match as normal."

And FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said: "Match-fixing is a cancer within our game that has got to be driven out.

"If these accusations are true, the people involved should be banned for life and sent to prison."

Sky sources now understand that the Gambling Commission has issued warnings to bookmakers across the country ahead of all of Wednesday night's friendly matches.

Chris Eaton, from the International Centre for Sport Security said: "This is a very welcome initiative.

"Preventative investigations like this, working before a match-fix, rather than retrospectively, are a very welcome approach by the NCA.

"I'd assume, and I'm only assuming here, they they have information, very good information, and they are acting on that.

"This announcement is designed to prevent any match-fixing.

"Football is an endemic situation in terms of match-fixing at the moment because of the massive size of the betting fraud problem in south-east Asia. We all know that.

"What it needs is good, active investigation and the NCA seem to be leading the way internationally."