Latics rocked by Montano bet-fix allegations
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 09 December 2013
OLDHAM Athletic star Cristian Montano was arrested yesterday over allegations of match fixing.
The 21-year-old winger appears in a video in which he appears to say how he deliberately tried to get cautioned in the first half at Wolves in October.
He failed to do so and covert footage recorded for the Sun on Sunday shows him explaining himself to ex-Portsmouth defender and alleged fixer-in-chief Sam Sodje.
Montano has been suspended without pay by Latics as inquiries continue.
“From minute one I was hacking people down,” Montano said on the video. “People running past me and I would go clip. I run against one player and barged him.”
Montano, who also said he tried to get yellow-carded by swearing at referee Mark Haywood, eventually did get booked — in the second half.
The former West Ham player added that he would be prepared to try to get booked in the future. On his next start for Athletic, against Notts County on November 12, Montano was cautioned in the 27th minute.
Five more players were arrested in the gambling probe by the National Crime Agency. None of the others are understood to have Athletic links.
The whole episode is believed to have come as a huge shock to the club, which had no knowledge of the revelations until publication yesterday.
Montano, who signed for Athletic in August 2012, is injured and wasn’t at Boundary Park for the 1-1 FA Cup second round draw with Mansfield on Saturday.
In the same report, Sodje (34), currently without a club, claimed he was deliberately sent off for punching Jose Baxter twice in a game at Boundary Park in February to pocket £70,000.
That red card incident was described in the Chronicle at the time as “a moment of unabashed madness”.
Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “We treat any allegations of criminal activity in our competitions with the utmost seriousness. We will be giving our full assistance to the police during their investigation.”
Athletic director Barry Owen said: “The future of the player cannot be established until we are notified of what is to occur with these investigations.”
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