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BBC betting row as bookies claim Match of the Day's Goal of the Season is fixed




By Paul Revoir

Last updated at 6:07 PM on 04th June 2008

The BBC has became embroiled in a betting scandal over its Match of the Day Goal of the Season competition.

Bookmakers stopped taking money today after £10,000 was bet in just four hours on a goal scored by Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

About 400 bets were made on the 9-2 third favourite this afternoon, alerting betting experts that their might be a problem.



article-0-014F124F000004B0-188_468x286.jpg The Match of the Day team: Left to right, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson.


Betting was suspended by bookmakers Blue Square when the odds plunged to 1-5, with wagers still flooding in.

The company admitted they would usually expect to take in the region of £5,000 over a week for a 'novelty' bet like this.


The BBC said it was talking to the betting company and if there was enough evidence it would launch an investigation.

Spokesman for the bookmakers Alan Alger said: 'We are not saying any of the Match of the Day team are responsible, but the market seems to suggest that the goal of the season result has been leaked somewhere.

'The number of bets we were taking on Adebayor was comparable to the amount we were taking on the Champions League final. It was crazy.

'Even when we cut his odds to 1-5, people were still betting on him. In our experience punters only bet like that when they know the result.'

article-1024088-01B116C9000004B0-477_468x396.jpg Runaway winner? Arsenal's Adebayor nets past Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson for what looks like the MOTD goal of the season

The BBC has said that the winning goal was picked on Wednesday of last week by a trio of Match of the Day pundits: Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Lee Dixon.

A limited number of production staff are also aware of the result, which the BBC plans to reveal on Saturday's Football Focus show.

The Goal of the Season competition pits the best goal from each calendar month of the season against each other.


The BBC said it will take seriously the claims but said it had no evidence there had been a leak.


It said if there was a suggestion that this had happened it would take it very seriously.

Blue Square is set to lose £25,000 if Adebayor's goal is revealed as the winner this weekend.


If it is revealed as the winner there will be calls for an immediate probe by BBC bosses.

People were still voting for their favourite goal until midnight last night, through texting or a 15p call from a BT landline or at a higher cost on mobile.

If they choose the same goal as the panel of experts their name is put in a draw to win tickets for a game from the Premier League of their choice.


Concerns over the BBC competition could not come at a worse time for the broadcaster.

Last month it was revealed the BBC kept more than £100,000 that had been pledged by viewers to charity for itself.


Staff knowingly withheld money that should have gone to causes including Children in Need and Comic Relief.

This came after a series of phone-in scandals, which were revealed last year.


This saw Comic Relief, Children in Need and Sport Relief all fake competitions, leaving viewers with no chance of winning.

In a separate case, Blue Peter admitted making up a phone-in competition winner.

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