London: A former Premier League footballer was jailed for two and a half years by a British court on Wednesday for conspiring to bribe players in a lower-league match-fixing scam.
Delroy Facey, formerly a striker with Bolton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City, had denied being part of the conspiracy. The 35-year-old argued that he had merely decided to 'humour' businessmen who offered him Â£15,000 ($23,100, 20,890 euros) to take part in the plot, but a jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted him of conspiracy to bribe players.
Judge Mary Stacey said that Facey's offences had damaged 'the very heart of football', telling him: "You have been a role model, but you have abused that position." Facey's co-accused, 25-year-old former non-league player Moses Swaibu, was jailed for 16 months.
Facey was found to have conspired with convicted match-fixers Chann Sankaran and Krishna Ganeshan, who had been found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery at a previous trial. The trial heard that Facey told a player at a struggling non-league club that he could make "easy money" by fixing the outcome of a match.
He also told a contact that some teams in the Football Conference, English football's semi-professional fifth tier, were prepared to "do" a game in return for payment.