by Renee Israel
Norwegian-born Claus Lundekvam has spoken candidly about a betting scam he
was involved in with fellow team members while he was the captain of English
Premier League side Southampton Premier between 1996 and 2008.
Speaking in an interview to the Norwegian media, the retired player admitted
that he and others in the team would regularly wager on their own games and that
hundreds of pounds were pooled.
"We would make deals with the opposing captain about, for example, betting on
the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or
penalty," he said in the interview.
"We had some inside information on both starting line-ups, who took penalties
and things like that. We could manipulate and control the little things in the
game. Those were the things we had influence over."
Lundekvam insisted, however, that that it was all just for "fun".
"Even though what we did, of course, was illegal, it was just a fun thing,"
he said. "It's not something I'm proud of."
"The results were never on the agenda," insisted Lundekvam. "That is
something I would never have done. We were professional competitors."
The former player said that this type of match betting went on every week for
a number of years. "It's not something I'm proud of," he said.
Betting Scam "Part of a Lifestyle"
The 39 year old Lundekvam, who retired from the Saints in 2008, said that it
was not only his own team-mates who took part in the Premier League betting
"I know it happened at other clubs as well," he said in the interview. "We
footballers live in a bubble. It was part of the lifestyle and excitement.
Whatever we could bet on, we bet on."
Lundekvam fell into a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol after his
retirement from PL football in 2008.
Footballers Banned from Betting on Competitions
Lundekvam's claims that he and his team-mates bet on their own matches goes
against FA Rule E8 which bars all participants in the game from betting on
competitions, as well as passing on information which they know will be used for
However, the passing on of team news and 'insider information' is very
difficult to control, despite the best efforts by UK bookies.
The allegations made by the former skipper are now being investigated by
FIFA, including the fact that he colluded with other captains and players.