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Slam the match fixers says York City boss Nigel Worthington
11:52am Thursday 12th December 2013 in Sport
YORK City manager Nigel Worthington does not feel lifetime bans from football are a strong enough punishment for anybody found guilty of breaching the game’s gambling rules.
The sport has been rocked this weekend following the arrests of Sam Sodje, Akpo Sodje and Stephen Sodje – elder relatives of former City striker Onome – along with Blackburn forward DJ Campbell, Oldham winger Cristian Montano and former Tranmere defender Ian Goodison in an investigation on spot-fixing – the practice of ensuring a pre-determined event occurs in a football match.
Worthington is upset at the possibility of players being involved in such deception and wants the relevant authorities to impose the most appropriate sanctions should any case be proven.
On the betting scandal, the City chief said: “We have heard about it in other countries but, when it’s on your own doorstep, it’s sad and not a nice thing to be dealing with.“Hopefully, the powers-that-be will deal with it in a very severe manner though and eradicate it from the game because it’s not something anybody wants to see in football.
“There is talk about life-time bans but I don’t know whether even that is strong enough.
“Perhaps that’s not for me to say but I hope that the strongest possible penalty is imposed, whatever that may be, because it is a serious offence in anybody’s eyes.
“God forbid, you could be a supporter, player or manager at one of those clubs involved and that must be devastating.”
Having been involved in football for more than four decades as a player, coach and manager, Worthington does not believe there is a widespread problem with betting in the game.
“I’ve never, ever come across anything like what’s being mentioned and I am proud to say that,” he added.
“I think that’s the case pretty much across the board and hopefully we can get back to that.”
Worthington is hopeful, meanwhile, that striker Wes Fletcher (hamstring) and goalkeeper Michael Ingham (hip) will resume training ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burton.
Neither player has taken part in a Wigginton Road session since the 0-0 home draw with Rochdale 11 days ago but the City boss added: “Wes is coming on and should be okay to join in training tomorrow and Inghy should not be too far away either.”
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