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Wenger calls for action on cheating

8 February 2013 17:43

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes now is the time to address the illegal manipulation of sporting events.

The Frenchman was speaking of doping scandals and match-fixing allegations that have tarnished sport's image across the globe.

On Monday, Europol found that nearly 400 football matches in Europe had been rigged following an 18-month investigation.

"I always was a believer that there's a lot of cheating going on in our game, and that we are not strong enough with what happens. Not with doping, not with corruption of referees, not with match-fixing," Wenger said.

"It's time we tackled this problem in a very serious way and that people who cheat are punished in a very serious and severe way as well. Because sport is full of legends who in fact are cheats.

"We had a recent example again (the Lance Armstrong revelations), and we all have a responsibility to fight against that."

Wenger believes English football does not have a match-fixing problem but claimed he had experienced cases of cheating in European fixtures.

"I personally believe that English football is clean of cheating, 100 percent. I don't think that referees are corrupt. It has happened in Europe before, that's my belief, that referees were not always fair," Wenger said.

"You have your own beliefs, and then after (wards) you have to prove it. And that becomes much more difficult because I was faced with this kind of problem before.

"I knew what was going on but when people said, 'come on, show us the proof', it's always very difficult to come out with that."

On Saturday Arsenal go away to Sunderland in the Premier League, and their hosts are set to be without midfielder James McClean.

“James has a problem. He played about 80 minutes for the Republic of Ireland and got a knock on his ankle in the first half, but played on," Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill told reporters.

“It’s blown up somewhat, so at the moment the physios are dealing with him. We’ll see how he is, but it might be a problem.”

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +19 32
2 11 +18 25
3 12 +11 24
4 12 +4 19
5 12 -1 19
6 12 +4 18
7 12 +3 18
8 12 +5 17
9 12 +3 17
10 12 -1 17
11 12 -2 15
12 12 -3 14
13 12 -4 13
14 12 -7 13
15 12 -4 12
16 12 -3 11
17 11 -11 11
18 12 -7 10
19 12 -12 10
20 12 -12 8

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