Prosecutors have dropped a case against ex-Nigeria international Sam Sodje and 12 other footballers investigated over spot fixing allegations after considering the reliability of evidence from an undercover reporter known as the “Fake Sheikh.”
The Crown Prosecution Service says there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” following the collapse of the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos, a singer and former judge on the ‘X-Factor’ talent show.
The judge in that case said Mazher Mahmood, a journalist with The Sun newspaper who specializes in undercover stings while disguised as a wealthy Arab businessman, probably lied under oath.
Prosecutors say the “reliability of the evidence of one alleged witness” in the fixing sting was considered before dropping the case.
In April, seven players from Football League clubs based in the north west of England were arrested in connection with alleged spot-fixing and another six were rearrested over the claims.
The original six suspects were arrested as part of the inquiry in December 2013, prompted by information passed on by the Sun on Sunday.
The tabloid reported that an undercover investigator met Sodje, who allegedly said he could arrange for footballers in the Championship to get themselves a yellow card in return for cash.
The 35-year-old also claimed he could rig Premier League games.
and even said he was preparing to fix matches at next year’s World Cup in Brazil, the newspaper reported.