Ex-Premier League player jailed in match-fixing probe

Former Premier League player Delroy Facey has been jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Facey, 35, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday alongside semi-professional player Moses Swaibu, 25, who was sent down for 16 months.

A Daily Telegraph investigation revealed in November 2013 that a ring of individuals, including Facey, were responsible for attempting to fix games in the lower leagues of English football.

It follows the conviction of three men in June 2014 in connection with the same matter.

A National Crime Agency (NCA) statement said of the betting ring: "Their meetings, conversations and messages built up a picture of a concerted effort over seven days to engage and corrupt footballers to influence the scoreline of matches, and pass information to a wider overseas network to make money by betting on the outcomes, although they failed in their plot to fix a match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham Redbridge on 26 November 2013."

NCA lead officer Adrian Hansford added: "The NCA is in no doubt that this was the beginning of a concerted attempt to build a network of corrupt players in the UK. That network included Facey, who acted as a conduit for potential targets, and Swaibu, who was recruited to expand the network further.

"They deliberately targeted lower leagues believing that because players earn less they could be more susceptible to taking a bribe. 

"The NCA had a vital opportunity here to intervene early and secure the evidence to get convictions before any of their plans could succeed. 

"This is corruption and bribery linked to serious organised crime, and the NCA is determined to stop criminals benefiting from it."

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