The father and uncle of Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney were among nine men arrested on Thursday as part of an inquiry into an alleged betting scam.
Merseyside Police said all nine men had been bailed until January, with one of them being confirmed by the Scottish Football Association as being 26-year-old Motherwell midfielder Steven Jennings, who comes from Liverpool and now lives in Glasgow.
The charges relate to “suspicious betting activity” surrounding the Scottish Premier League match between Motherwell and Heart of Midlothian in December last year.
Wayne Rooney senior, 48, was detained at his home in the West Derby area of Liverpool following a joint investigation by Merseyside Police working in cooperation with the Gambling Commission. Rooney’s uncle Richie, 54, was also detained.
“A 54-year-old from Norris Green, a 22-year-old from Kirkdale, a 48-year-old from West Derby and a 26-year-old from Croxteth have all been bailed pending further inquiries,” Merseyside Police said in a statement.
Solicitor Anthony Barnfather, representing Rooney senior, told British media in a statement: “Mr Rooney vigorously denies all of these allegations. We are cooperating fully with the investigation. No further comment will be made at this time.”
Police said the nine arrests were the “culmination of a joint operation with the Gambling Commission” and all the men had been interviewed for conspiracy to defraud.
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said on the organization’s Web site that the arrests followed “extensive inquiries” into alleged betting irregularities involving the Scottish Premier League match.
“While the investigation involves several other individuals outwith [outside] Scotland, it is important to stress that the evidence gathered throughout this thorough period of investigation has involved only one Scottish match,” Regan said. “Motherwell FC are aware of the situation and will issue a response in due course. The Scottish FA will make no further comment at this stage.”
Midfielder Jennings, who joined Motherwell in 2009 from Tranmere Rovers, Liverpool’s third club after Everton and Liverpool, was sent off in the 83rd minute of the match against Hearts, who won the game 2-1.
Rooney, on international duty with England in Montenegro ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier, was relaxed following his father’s arrest, England manager Fabio Capello said.
“He told me he has no problems and assured me this personal problem will find a solution within a short time,” Capello told a press conference, adding that Rooney would start the match.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic