Football

Betting penalties prompt match-fix fears

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Serious concerns have been expressed that a Football League match was fixed after four players were banned for between five months and a year for betting on the outcome.

Three of the players bet thousands of pounds that their side Accrington Stanley would lose the home League Two fixture against Bury in May 2008 - which they did 2-0.

Following an independent Football Association regulatory commission hearing, Jay Harris has been banned for a year and fined a total of £5,500, David Mannix has been given a 10-month ban and fined £4,000, and Robert Williams suspended for eight months and fined £3,500.

Andrew Mangan, who was then a Bury player, has been banned for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on his team to win.

Nicholas Stewart QC, chairman of the commission, said: "The regulatory commission has serious concerns that the outcome of the match may have been fixed although none of the players were charged with these offences."

It is understood the FA looked into bringing match-fixing charges but decided against it as such accusations are extremely difficult to prove.

The case against Accrington skipper Peter Cavanagh, who was also charged, will be heard next month. Both he and Harris played in the match.

Leighton McGivern, also with Accrington Stanley at the time of the game, will face a hearing in August on a charge of failing to provide the FA with information requested during the course of the investigation.

Mannix was alleged by the FA to have bet approximately £4,000, Harris £2,000, Williams £1,000, and Cavanagh on a £5 accumulator. Mangan was charged with staking £3,500 on his side to win, while Harris's total fine includes £500 for betting on at least one other match after he had moved to Chester.

The regulatory commission chairman added: "These players were all in blatant breach of the rules. Three of the players, (Mannix, Harris and Williams) were Accrington players at the time and actually bet on the opposing team, Bury, to win - actions which would shock any fair-minded football fan. Mr Harris even played for Accrington in that match."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Andrew Mangan
Football
Robert Williams
Leighton McGivern
Robert Williams
Robert Williams
David Mannix
League Two
Jay Harris
Accrington Stanley
Peter Cavanagh

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