The Sun claims Fifa in­ves­ti­gat­ing Lithua­nia’s 2-0 win over Malta

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Fifa is prob­ing Lithua­nia’s 2-0 win over Malta, 19 days ago, after Dele Alli helped the Three Lions de­feat them days ear­lier, The Sun on Sun­day re­ported yes­ter­day.

Malta’s goal­keeper has told how a Fifa of­fi­cial marched into his side’s dress­ing room be­fore kick-off to warn their World Cup qual­i­fier might be fixed.

Stop­per An­drew Hogg and team-mates were alerted over sus­pi­cious bet­ting pat­terns.

Fifa also vis­ited Lithua­nia play­ers and the ref­eree be­fore the match.

The game came just three days after Eng­land also beat Malta. Malta lost 2-0 on October 11, the night Eng­land drew 0-0 in Slove­nia.

Bet­ting syn­di­cates staked mil­lions be­fore kick-off and dur­ing the game on Malta to lose by two or more.

An in­quiry is un­der­way and the group could be thrown into chaos if Fifa un­earths any wrong­do­ing, with re­sults pos­si­bly voided and games re­played.

Lon­don-born An­drew, 31, said of the match com­mis­sioner’s visit: “It was strange and felt very un­com­fort­able - as if we were be­ing ac­cused of cheat­ing.

“Lithua­nia and Malta are in Eng­land’s World Cup qual­i­fier group. I knew I’d done ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong and had no idea what they were talk­ing about.

“But I was left think­ing, ‘If I f*** up now I might end up in the po­lice sta­tion.’

“In the event, there was noth­ing I could do about the goals. I made three or four good saves which show I was do­ing my best. I have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to hide.

“But this could re­ally mess up the group be­cause no one knows what might hap­pen next. It’s a bulls**t sit­u­a­tion.”

The match came three days after caretaker boss Gareth South­gate took charge of his first game for Eng­land, also against Malta.

Dele Alli, whose girl­friend is undies model Ruby Mae, and Daniel Stur­ridge scored in that 2-0 win.

Sources say crooks took ad­van­tage of the hype over Eng­land’s next match in Slove­nia to try to fix Lithua­nia vs Malta the same night.

The match was just three days after Gareth South­gate took over as caretaker man­ager for the

Eng­land foot­ball team In the match in Lithua­nia’s cap­i­tal Vil­nius, the hosts took the lead with a 75th-minute header.

Seven min­utes later they scored a penalty with de­fender Jonathan Caru­ana, who had just been booked, sent off for ap­pear­ing to shove and punch a player.

Malta, bottom of Group F which also con­tains Scot­land, had no shots on tar­get and only 35 per cent of pos­ses­sion.

The match was ref­er­eed by Spa­niard Jesús Gil Man­zano.

There is no sug­ges­tion he, any other match of­fi­cials or the play­ers have done any­thing wrong.

A source who alerted The Sun on Sun­day to the po­ten­tial fix said big changes in the pre­match odds were picked up by Fifa’s early-warn­ing sys­tem and a red alert cre­ated.

The source added: “Fifa alerted both teams and the ref­eree that the bet­ting pat­terns had been noted. It was min­utes be­fore kick-off, but the match was al­lowed to go ahead.”

Malta con­firmed that a Fifa of­fi­cial had vis­ited the team just ten min­utes be­fore the match started.

A source in the Malta FA con­firmed: “Some ten min­utes be­fore kick-off, just after the warm-up, the of­fi­cial came and read a com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Fifa.

“I have never seen this be­fore. It was very strange to have some­one come in and say th­ese things. I don’t think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to hap­pen just be­fore the game.”

The Sun on Sun­day has been shown the in-play bet­ting pat­terns.

With six min­utes left the odds for a sec­ond goal sig­nalled an ab­nor­mally high chance of it oc­cur­ring.

Anti match-fix­ing firm Fed­erBet also recorded the bet­ting mar­ket.

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