MATCH OF THEIR DAY: When the lights went out on the top flight’s Far East betting scam

This week in 1999, Charlton Athletic, led by Alan Curbishley, Liverpool, led by Gerard Houllier, defeated 1-0 in The Valley

It was a much-needed outcome for Charlton, who finished in second place of the Premier League at the kickoff and a bad one for Liverpool.

But it was an even more important – and worse – result for the gambling syndicate of the Far East on the edge of a new massive payday. They planned to earn their money by shorting the spotlight of The Valley in the second half

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<p><img id= the authorities involved. Manchester United's home game against West Ham was delayed 45 minutes last month due to a power outage

A growing suspicion arose that such outages were not just mechanical problems. The spotlight had failed in Derby vs. Wimbledon in August 1997, in West Ham versus Crystal Palace three months later and in Wimbledon versus Arsenal three days before Christmas of that year.


CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Royce; Mills, Brown, Tiler, Powell; Jones, Kinsella, Redfearn (Barnes 66), Robinson; Hunt, Pringle (Bright 83)

Alan Curbishley

-4-2): James; Heggem (Gerard 81), Bjornebye (Song 74), Staunton, Carragher; Matteo, Ince, Redknapp, McManaman; Fowler, Owen (Riedle 81)

Attendance: 20.043

There was something going on and the police discovered their origin when they received a phone call from the friend of Charlton Athletic who had been bribed to turn off the lights during the Liverpool game.

The organized crime group of the Metropolitan Police turned off The Valley and two days before the kickoff they saw four men in a BMW out of the ground and arrested them.

When the police went to the hotel where the Malaysians stayed, they found enough electrical equipment to sabotage the lights. in the Valley and elsewhere, what the plan was.

The scams were lucrative. In Malaysia and other countries where the Premier League proved to be hugely popular, the local football system was corrupted by match fixing. With players and officials banished, gamblers stopped gambling.

Ironically, what is needed in a scam is an apparently clean & # 39; organization, a system that can be trusted. English football matched the description. Now it was about repairing it.

 The gambling syndicate of the Far East was planning to earn their money by shorting the spotlight of The Valley in the second half "class =" blkBorder img-share "/>
<p><img id= In the Wimbledon-Arsenal contest in 1997, for example, & # 39; failed & # 39; the lights for 13 seconds in the second half with the score 0-0.

Those who gamble on Arsenal, presumably the majority, lost. The bookmakers' winnings were estimated at tens of millions.

Those behind the Charlton conspiracy will be frustrated by the arrest of their colleagues outside The Valley – and their anger will have increased as they unfolded the game. The non-fiancé Charlton was not only right in the break, but then scored the only goal of the game, from Keith Jones.

The afternoon was possibly remembered for that Charlton debut of a 35-year-old John Barnes, against the club with whom he won two League titles.

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 An electrician repairs the fuse box that controls the floodlights in The Valley "class =" blkBorder img-share "/>
<p><img id= The powerful organizations and detective Andy Sellers of the Metropolitan Police were convinced they were behind the other limelight.

Floodlight failures still occur – in Nottingham Forest, Norwich and Kilmarnock alone this season I have no doubt that two matches in the previous season

Match fixation is always lucrative and even at the highest level there is vigilance: UEFA opened an investigation into the PSG-red Star Belgrade Champions League game in October. PSG won 6-1. It was claimed that Seven Star had made a bet on Red Star with five goals.

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