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Former FA man lambasts ‘dereliction of duty’ regarding match-fixing

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Despite making promises to investigate possibilities of match-fixing after bookmakers stopped taking bets on three Conference clubs last season, the FA hasn’t moved a muscle, the BBC reported Wednesday. Billericay Town, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford all said nobody from the FA has approached them since the incident.

Graham Bean, the former head of the FA’s compliance unit, said a failure to follow up was “disgraceful and a dereliction of duty” from the governing body.

“It is my belief that the FA tend to stick their heads in the sand at suggestions of match-fixing and tend to give a perception that they don’t think it actually exists,” he told the BBC. “When I was at the FA, I once raised the idea of having an intelligence hotline, where anonymous contact could be made to report wrongdoing. I was laughed at for the suggestion.”

Now, the chairman of one of the accused clubs is also calling for an investigation.

Billericay Town boss Steve Kent said the information he has makes him believe it is necessary.

“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,” he said. “I’m not saying match-fixing is rife or commonplace, but from the information I have been gathering it certainly warrants an investigation.”

His concern stems from a recent incident in Australia, where four British players were charged with match-fixing while playing for the Melbourne Stars in the Victorian Premier League, in the second division in Australia. Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel, Nick McKoy and David Obaze all joined Melbourne from non-league clubs in England — and Woolley, Noel and McKoy played for Hornchurch.

“When I saw the names involved I was shocked,” Billericay chairman Kent said. “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.”

Even Hornchurch chairman Colin McBride agrees that an investigation is necessary, even if it is into his own club.

“It’s surprising the FA didn’t contact us,” he said. “We can’t draw a line under it and we want to move on. That’s the disappointing thing; I think we deserve an answer.”

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.