Football

Wenger: English game 99.9% free of corruption

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Arsene Wenger believes that the English game is "99.9% clean" but doubts whether match fixing will ever be eradicated from football, according to the Telegraph.

This comes after two men by the names of Chann Sankaran and Krishna Sanjey were remanded in custody after being charged with conspiracy to defraud.

The arrest on Thursday of two men, alleged to be part of an illegal betting syndicate based in Singapore, has raised doubts about the integrity of the game.

Speaking in the build up to Arsenal's game away against Cardiff City he said: "I don't believe that in England people fix matches, but we live in an international world and you cannot stop it at the boarder anymore, It's a new problem that we face."

"I still think that 99.9 per cent, the English game, is completely clean. I hope that (the recent changes) are an isolated incident."

"When you see the happiness of the players when they score goals, even in the lower divisions, the passion of the fans when I was at Barnet for example, I can't believe that there is a match-fixing problem in England."

Despite his anger and confusion at the case which has taken the whole of English football by storm he feels that the hard work against such legal actions must continue and strengthen.

"Can it be eradicated completely? I am not sure. It is not only a concern for me, it is a shame."

The long standing Arsenal manager believes that match fixing must be fought around the world if it is to be completely eradicated in future generations to come.

"Once you don't know anymore if everyone genuine out there, that is something absolutely disastrous."

"I think that we absolutely to fight against that with the strongest severity to get that out of the game."

Although Wenger feels that the Premier League and the Championship are completely threat free from gambling and corruption, he feels that the lower leagues are prime targets for gangs attempting to make an easy buck.

"Maybe the lower divisions are a bit more under threat because it is a bit more anonymous, there is less money so it is easier to buy people," he said.  

Wenger has first hand experience of the impact that match fixing can have on the sport during his time at Monaco, which saw the 1993 French and European Cup winners Marseille found guilty of corruption, relegated and thrown out of the European competition by UEFA.

"That was much more serious," he said. "it was a period where European football was not clean, for different reasons, but i hope that we can leave that behind us." 

"It was one of the most difficult periods in my life. But i think even in France now, the championship is completely clean."

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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