Scotland match 'facing fix probe'

Herald Series: Scotland are due to take on Nigeria in London Scotland are due to take on Nigeria in London

An investigation has been launched into alleged attempts to fix a football friendly between Scotland and Nigeria in London tomorrow night, according to reports.

Officers from the National Crime Agency were said to be liaising with the Scottish Football Association after the match, to be played at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground, was 'red flagged', the Daily Telegraph reported.

A Scottish FA spokesman: "We are liaising with the relevant authorities and will prepare for the match as normal."

A spokesman for the NCA refused to comment, saying: "The NCA will from time to time provide operational detail necessary for public reassurance purposes.

"It does not routinely confirm or deny the existence of specific operations or provide ongoing commentary on operational activity."

Officers were understood to have asked world football governing body Fifa to issue an alert over potential attempts to rig the game, the Telegraph reported.

It comes less than three weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

A spokeswoman for the Gambling Commission declined to comment on the reports, referring inquiries to the NCA.

A spokesman for bookmakers William Hill said: "We are looking into these reports, so are unable to comment at present."

A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: "We are taking bets on the match, and will continue to monitor the situation."

A spokesman for bookmaker Coral said: "In the context of football betting, turnover on international friendlies is minimal. We are not aware of any unusual betting patterns on this match, and that has been reflected across the industry.

"However we are not complacent about it. We do know that where there is integrity concern over football matches, betting tends to take place far from British shores."

A William Hill spokesman said later: "We've seen no evidence of the reported issues and we wouldn't expect to. This sort of activity will be executed in the illegal betting market, and is unlikely to be seen in the UK or European regulated sector."

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