Regan backs game after betting arrest

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Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan believes everything possible is being done to remove any betting irregularities from football in Scotland.

Regan revealed that Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings had been arrested at his Glasgow home yesterday as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity in the SPL match between Motherwell and Hearts on December 14 last year. Eight other people, including the Manchester United star Wayne Rooney’s father and uncle, were also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

The arrests were carried out by Merseyside Police in a joint operation with the Gambling Commission.

Regan was keen to stress the allegations relate to just one Scottish football match.

He said: “I am confident that Scottish football is doing everything it can to take any betting irregularities out of the game.

“At this stage we are talking about one match in Scottish football, and that match was last December. There is no evidence to suggest that any other match has been involved.

“Clearly the betting irregularities are alleged at this stage, we haven’t got any detailed information and until we have it is not appropriate to comment.”

Jennings, originally from Kirby, was shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute of Motherwell’s 2-1 SPL defeat by Hearts after complaining to referee Stevie O’Reilly about a rejected penalty claim.

The midfielder had also been booked early in the match for fouling Kevin Kyle as Hearts launched a dangerous break.

Jennings was shown on live television coverage of the game lashing out angrily at a plastic cup in the dressing room following his red card.

The investigation by the Gambling Commission began several days later after some members of the Association of British Bookmakers publicly raised concerns about betting patterns on the game.

Jennings has been a key player for Motherwell since joining from Tranmere in the summer of 2009 and signed his third one-year contract at Fir Park in July.