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