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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:28 UK

FA probe into Norwich-Derby match

Norman Lamb
Lamb is a Norwich season ticket holder

The Football Association is looking into match-fixing allegations relating to the Championship match between Norwich City and Derby on 4 October.

Betting patterns during the 2-1 victory for Derby County will also be the subject of a parliamentary question in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, will ask sport secretary Andy Burnham if he has heard from the FA on the matter.

"I have to stress this is an allegation," said Lamb.

An FA spokesman said: "The FA can confirm that it is investigating an allegation regarding the match between Norwich City and Derby County on 4 October. We are looking into whether there is any substance to this allegation.

Jewell laughs off match-fixing allegations

"There is no fixed time-scale to our inquiries and there will be no further comment at this time."

Derby manager Paul Jewell told BBC East Midlands Today: "It's something that as far as I'm concerned is nonsense. I'm bemused.

"If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable.

"I don't know where the story has come from and if it needs investigating the FA will investigate it but it's certainly nothing for us to hide or Norwich to hide."

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "Ministers take the integrity of sport and gambling very seriously, which is why the Government recently introduced a new offence of cheating at gambling which carries a maximum two-year jail sentence.

"We want there to be no hiding place for cheats and it is right the FA investigate these serious allegations thoroughly.

"Should evidence that the law has been broken emerge it is for the relevant authorities such as the Gambling Commission or the police to conduct that investigation."

It's important the FA investigates this as a matter of extreme urgency

Norman Lamb MP

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, Lamb added: "When anything like this enters our game the whole thing's destroyed because you lose trust.

"It's important the FA investigates this as a matter of extreme urgency."

The Sunday Telegraph last week confirmed that unusual betting patterns involving a Championship game had been reported on the Asian markets on Saturday, 4 October, but did not specify the match.

"The Sunday Telegraph didn't mention the game but it's since emerged that the game did involve Norwich City and Derby County - a game I was at - but I have to stress this is an allegation," said Lamb.

"What surprised me is what I heard last night, that as of yesterday the FA had not approached Norwich City or Derby.

"I find that extraordinary given that we were told on Sunday that the game was being investigated," he added.

A response from Burnham is expected in the House of Commons at some point in the next week, although Lamb would like to hear something sooner.

"Now this is in the public domain the government and, critically, the FA need to make a very clear statement about what's going on," he said.

see also
Norwich 1-2 Derby
04 Oct 08 |  Championship

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