A former player at one of Scotland’s top-flight clubs has been arrested by police probing football match-fixing claims, we can reveal.
The footballer, now involved in coaching, was arrested and questioned by police over the allegations. He was released without charge as police continue their investigation.
It is understood the inquiry team are looking at the alleged involvement of up to eight players and staff members in betting involving the Premiership club.
Officers at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh, Lanarkshire, where Police Scotland’s specialist squads, including fraud, money laundering and serious crime, are based, are leading the inquiry into bets made on specific events in games such as the timing of a booking.
Current rules ban players from betting on football and police can become involved where an allegation of fraud is raised, when a player might benefit financially from a bet he can influence, for example.
The case comes amid growing concern around issues related to gambling within football and over the sponsorship role played by major betting firms.
Police Scotland said: “A man was arrested on February 28 in connection with a reported incident relating to gambling in sport. He has been released pending further inquiries.”
In a case unrelated to the current police investigation, a Scottish league footballer appeared in court in January in connection with an alleged £16,000 betting scam.
Kane Hester, 24, who plays for Elgin City, is charged with forming a fraudulent scheme with three others to receive a booking during a Scottish Cup game between his club and Hibernian last July.
The Scottish Professional Football League, the body that governs the top four leagues in Scotland, said: “Every SPFL club works with our partners at the Scottish FA and PFA Scotland to educate players about the strict rules around betting on matches.
“It is essential that the hard-won and well-justified reputation for integrity in our game is preserved.”
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