The investigation into match-fixing surrounding
Norwich City and Derby County's league meeting at Carrow Road earlier this
month has reached an impasse after the Asian gambling markets which allegedly
saw suspicious betting trends on the fixture declined to assist the Football
Association with its inquiries. Last night the two teams met again in the
Championship, Derby completing a league double with a 3-1 victory.
SBOBET and IBCBET, both of which
are based in Singapore, were asked by the FA to pass on to it all trading
information relating to the match, such as the names of people who placed bets,
but have refused to do so after deeming such a move an "excessive" breach of
As the FA does not have a jurisdiction in the far east it
cannot compel SBOBET or IBCBET, who are not themselves under suspicion of any
impropriety, to cooperate. Little progress can now be made with its
investigation, which was launched after the British bookmaker Spreadex alerted
the authorities to an alleged "massive movement" in the Asian betting markets
during half-time of the Norwich v Derby match on October 4, which the visitors
won 2-1 having led 1-0 at the interval.
This has come as a great frustration to Soho
Square officials who, along with the Gambling Commission, have received full
assistance with their inquiries from all contacted British and European
gambling firms as well as Norwich and Derby themselves, neither of whom are
linked to the alleged betting sting. They insist, however, that this does not
mean the matter had come to an end.
As Derby and Norwich met for the
second time in 24 days last night, the matchday programme failed to contain a
single mention of the match-fixing suspicions, not surprising considering the
reaction of Derby's chairman, Adam Pearson, after the allegations were made
public. He accused the two East Anglian MPs, Dr Ian Gibson and Norman Lamb, who
raised the matter in Parliament of trying to create a "bit of a profile" for
themselves and described the possibility of the result at Carrow Road being
prearranged as "far-fetched".
The FA, meanwhile, fears its Respect
campaign, designed to stop players haranguing officials, is being undermined by
Premier League managers. The FA has called a meeting to discuss refereeing
issues but some managers are believed to be angry at the difficulty of
appealing against controversial decisions.