Claus Lundekvam in betting claim's
Former Southampton Captain and South Coast legend Claus Lundekvam has released vital information in a series of interviews in his native Norway and to The Sun newspaper into a betting scandal in which he claimed he and others were spot-fixing, “almost every week”. Lundekvam claimed that it was a practice which, “was not something I was proud of”.
Sports such as football have been rocked in recent years by several fixing and betting scandals and Lundekvam goes as far to say that, “It’s something I was involved in for a number of years in England”. He explains to The Sun how this system was crafted, “We could 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 a penalty”.
The former Saints Captain claims that he was not alone in this scandal, adding, “I bet on my own matches. There were often several players who put money in the pot — several hundred pounds each, sometimes a thousand each”. Only one player is known to have revealed such a claim with former Saint’s striker Matt Le Tissier (@mattletiss7) expressing on Twitter “aside from the 1incident mentioned in my book ive never been involved in any betting scams and had no idea of claus lundekvams claims”. The specific incident Le Tissier refers to in his biography ‘Taking Le Tiss’ is that “Spread betting had just started to become popular. It was a new idea which allowed punters to back anything from the final score to the first throw-in”.
John Sinnott (@JohnSinnott) CNN digital producer tweeted “Just contacted Vegard Heggem @vedgy to ask him about the Claus Lundekvam betting story: He responded: "I don't read The Sun." Showing that not everybody has regarded this as an out and out scandal. Comedian Charlie Talbot (@charlietabloid) seemed a little less surprised than others with the betting scandal by stating, “Premier League spot-betting seems plausible - used to be a lot of early throw-ins at Selhurst Park era Wimbledon”. Many fans have also taken to Twitter to react to the news broken today. Huge Saint’s fan, Simon Law (@sijlaw) expressed his displeasure with the story “No time for@SaintSkipper5 Claus Lundekvam article, why stitch former team-mates up? Hard up? #SaintsFc”. Another saint’s fan, Paul Coombs (@coombsaint) seems to see the humorous side the Lundekvam story tweeting “That’s why Southampton stayed up all those years....Claus Lundekvam kept booting the ball out of play.”
Despite the claim arousing a lot of talk from sports fans and journalists alike, many see the betting scandal as one which won’t rock the sport as much as the Pakistani cricket betting scandal did. There seems to be a disagreement between Le Tissier and Lundekvam on how often spread betting occurred however it seems very difficult now to dispute that it did in fact take place. The question is with this revelation from Claus Lundekvam, how long until other former and current players come forward to support or attempt to muffle these claims.