02.10.2013 21:06 h

Football: FA accused of fixing 'inaction'

Wurde von den Bossen zum Rapport bestellt: Crystal-Palace-Coach Ian Holloway
Wurde von den Bossen zum Rapport bestellt: Crystal-Palace-Coach Ian Holloway

English football's governing body the Football Association (FA) has been accused of inaction after failing to question three non-league clubs over a possible betting scam that could have links to a similar case in Australia.

Billericay Town, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford all came under scrutiny from the FA after bookmakers stopped taking bets on several matches involving the clubs in the Conference South last season.

The FA promised to act and told clubs to "remind players and officials of their responsibilities under the rules".

But the chairmen of all three clubs from Essex, east of London, told BBC Sport on Wednesday that none of them have been questioned or even approached.

"I am calling for the authorities in this country to investigate the possibility of match-fixing at our level of football," said Billericay chairman Steve Kent.

"How can they investigate alleged match-fixing involving my club when not a single person from the police, the FA, or the league made any kind of approach to us whatsoever? It's amazing."

Last month, a group of British players in Australia were arrested and charged with match-fixing offences while playing for the Melbourne-based Stars in the second-tier Victorian Premier League.

All four of the accused played non-league football in England before moving to the Stars.

Three of them - Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel and Nick McKoy - joined from AFC Hornchurch.

"In the light of recent events in Australia, it's time for a proper investigation," said Kent.

"I'm not saying match-fixing is rife or commonplace, but from the information I have been gathering it certainly warrants an investigation.

"When I saw the names involved I was shocked. The names I was reading I was so familiar with. Last season, they were all playing at our level. We played against them. That's what shocked me the most."

Match-fixing can attract a 10-year maximum jail sentence in Australia and lifetime football bans can be applied worldwide.