Footballers bailed over UK match-fixing allegations

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced the seven professional footballers that were arrested last week as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing in the English game have been bailed.

As reported by iGaming business, the footballers are aged between 18 and 30 and all play for Football League clubs in north-west England.

Since the initial announcement by the NCA, the BBC has reported that six of the seven footballers arrested play for Preston North End in the third-tier of English football.

The League One club’s captain John Welsh and players Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Ben Davis and Graham Cummins have all expressed their innocence to the club.

Stephen Dawson, a midfielder for Championship second-tier side Barnsley, was also arrested and bailed as part of the investigation.

In response to the arrests, a Preston North End spokesman said: “We are disappointed that individual player names are in the public domain given that none of these individuals have been charged with any offence.

“Having had time to meet with all the individuals concerned we reiterate our position that all players will remain available for selection by the manager and that until or unless the current situation changes it will be business as usual.”

Barnsley Football Club also released a statement that said it was: “aware of reports in media in connection with an investigation into individuals suspected of conspiracy to commit acts of bribery and money laundering relating to conduct during football matches”.

The NCA has also announced the six other men that were re-arrested last week after having been originally arrested in December 2013 on suspicion of involvement in match-fixing have also been bailed.

The original six suspects, including former English Premier League top-flight player DJ Campbell, had originally been bailed to return on April 8 before being re-arrested last week.

The NCA said the decision to bail all 13 individuals would allow it to carry out a “significantly wider” investigation.

All 13 individuals will answer bail in late June. 

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