British Government Wants Investigation Amid Telegraph Football Corruption Claims

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2016

Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in Bolton on September 28, 2016.
Sam Allardyce's reign as England manager came to a humiliating end yesterday as he departed after just 67 days in charge following his controversial comments in a newspaper sting. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Tracey Crouch, the minister of sport, has responded to the Telegraph's investigation into corruption in football, demanding a full inquiry and offering the assistance of the British government. 

Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph shared the response to the newspaper's investigation:

Ben Rumsby @ben_rumsby

The Government responds to @Telegraph Football Corruption investigation, demands inquiry: https://t.co/sMSJcevfF1

The League Managers Association also reacted to the news, per BBC Sport's Matthew Henry and Michael Emons: "We take the allegations very seriously, as they are obviously damaging to the game. We are in regular communication with the FA to establish the facts relating to those allegations."

As the Telegraph reported, undercover reporters posed as a Far East investment firm and approached several agents, who openly boasted of paying several managers "bungs."

Sam Allardyce has already left his position as manager of the English national team by mutual consent following the first wave of revelations, per the report, and a total of eight managers have been investigated, with more information promised.

Per the report, the Football Association is already investigating the matter, and Rumsby wonders whether it has the means to push the investigation all the way:

Ben Rumsby @ben_rumsby

Will be interesting to see whether FA has the power to gain access to the "Swiss bank accounts" mentioned by agents in Telegraph sting.

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Allardyce was filmed advising reporters on how to circumvent FA regulations on transfers and negotiating a deal worth £400,000 with a firm that didn't exist. Although he insisted he would have to clear any deal with the FA throughout the video, his time with the national team still came to an end, per the Telegraph.

Wednesday's revelations focused on agents, headlined by Italy's Pino Pagliara, who does not have a license and has already suffered a five-year ban from football over match-fixing allegations.

Sport Witness provided details on the agent:

Sport Witness @Sport_Witness

Embroiled in Italy match fixing scandal, banned from conducting transfers, Pino Pagliara moved to England. Prestwich, Manchester.

Since the scandal broke, Pagliara has retracted his statements, saying he fabricated everything in order to impress the undercover reporters.

The latest round of revelations are a big blow for the FA, which has reacted quickly after the Allardyce story was released. The Telegraph's allegations point to widespread corruption, rather than the mistakes of one man or a few individuals, and an official police investigation could unearth much more.

According to the report, the Telegraph has already turned over all of its information to the authorities.


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