Soccer-Blackburn striker Campbell arrested in spot-fixing probe


(Adds NCA and PFA statements)

By Martyn Herman

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Former English Premier League striker DJ Campbell has been arrested as part of a spot-fixing investigation, his club Blackburn Rovers said on Monday.

"Following reports in today's national media, Blackburn Rovers can confirm that striker DJ Campbell has been arrested," the Championship (second division) club said in a statement.

"The club will be making no further comment on what is now an ongoing legal matter."

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has launched a second probe into alleged match-fixing in English soccer after a Sunday newspaper claimed a player told an undercover reporter he could guarantee certain events in a Championship match.

Six people have been arrested.

"The NCA can confirm that the Sun on Sunday has passed material from its own investigation to the National Crime Agency," an NCA statement said.

"An active NCA investigation is now underway and we are working closely with the Football Association and the Gambling Commission. Five people were arrested on Sunday morning, and bailed that evening until April 2014.

"A sixth individual was arrested on Sunday evening and is being questioned by NCA officers."

Striker Campbell, 32, played for Blackpool and Queen's Park Rangers in the Premier League before joining Blackburn in July.

The Sun on Sunday said it had evidence of a player saying he arranged a booking in a recent Championship match in which another received a 30,000 pounds ($49,100) payment for getting a yellow card.

The same player allegedly boasted he could also "rig" Premier League games.

In a separate match-fixing investigation, four people have been charged, including two players from an English sixth tier semi-professional team, in connection with an alleged international illegal betting syndicate.

The Professional Footballer's Association (PFA) said the latest arrests highlight the challenges facing the game.

"These allegations, if proven, unfortunately demonstrate the real issue football faces in terms of corruption and highlights the necessity of the work carried out by the PFA and other stakeholders in the game in educating players of these risks," the organisation said in a statement.

"We take the issue of integrity very seriously and will continue in our efforts to eradicate this evil from our game." (Writing by Martyn Herman, editing by Patrick Johnston and Justin Palmer)

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