Man removed from League One match on suspicion of involvement in illegal betting

By Joe Lo
A man was removed from a lower league English football game on Saturday on suspicion of participating in an illegal international betting operation.

The Egyptian, in his twenties, was spotted making extensive and detailed notes at the Crawley Town vs Crewe Alexandra League One game, according to local media reports.

It was suspected that he was reporting events back to a syndicate, utilising time delays to provide them with information before bookmakers had it. The syndicate could then have placed a winning bet based on this information.

Sergeant Darren Taylor, football intelligence and liaison officer for Crawley Town, said: "A security team, representing the Football League, investigating suspected illegal gambling briefed officers ahead of the match. It was intelligence-led based on information there could be someone suspicious attending the game."

"There were people watching the crowd and another covering the CCTV system," he continued. "Within 15 minutes of kick-off, an individual was spotted matching the description we were looking for."

"He was constantly on his phone and was found to have a notebook with him. Inside was a grid system with numbers referring to the next corner or free kick for example. The notebook had reference to other football matches and sporting events."

Earlier this year a Chinese man was detained and questioned by police at a Coventry City vs Crawley Town match.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of any of the clubs involved.

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