Indian origin footballer charged with betting corruption

Michael Chopra, who is probably the best known Indian origin footballer outside the country has been accused along with two other players of betting-related corruption.

A Guardian report says that James Coppinger (Nottingham Forest), Mark Wilson (ex-Manchester United) and Chopra (Ipswich town) face charges issued by the British Horseracing Authority.

Jockey Andrew Hefferman will also have to be answer on an allegation that he may have stopped three horses involved in the case.

Chopra in his playing days with Cardiff. Reuters

None of the players commented, but Chopra's gambling problems are well known in England after the player admitted to Sky last November that he has "probably lost between £1.5m and £2m on gambling."

He also said, "As the years have come along and I've made more money, I've started to gamble more."

"I was gambling up to £20,000 a day at times. As soon as I'd step over the white line, I would focus on football, but as soon as I got to the dressing room I would check my phone to see if I'd won. As a gambler, you want to be playing to get the appearance money. I was playing through injury to cover a debt."

This charge however is for being part of a conspiracy to commit a corrupt practice in relation to betting on horses.

The players are expected to deny the charges but if proved guilty, they face a ban from racing and could be prevented from entering racecourses or training premises. They could also be barred from discussing the sport with licensed individuals.

Paul Scotney, the BHA's director of integrity services, told the Guardian: "The charges BHA has issued today are the result of a long and complicated investigation. This process has taken significant time and resources. However, investigations such as these are very similar to fraud investigations and, as such, are complex and time consuming.

Click here for the full report.