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  • "You are right Mush On The Beach... We will never be influential in International football again, as a team or politically. Our league may be the best (according to many) but it's run and owned by overseas interests now and populated by very few English players at the highest level .

    Politically we have nobody with the acumen, guile and gravitas to become a major figure at the top table of global football organisation.

    Now and then we may flourish and reach a quarter or semi final but as things stand we are destined to be the second string in international football.

    Never mind, Saints can make up for that by being a true power in the domestic game. My pint is just overflowing with that thought in mind."
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Ex-Saint Lundekvam ready to talk to FIFA

Ex-Saint Lundekvam ready to talk to FIFA

Ex-Saint Lundekvam ready to talk to FIFA

First published in Sport

Former Saints skipper Claus Lundekvam is ready to talk to FIFA as they investigate his claims that he, team-mates and opposing captains were involved in betting fraud - something he now describes as "innocent fun".

In an interview in a Norwegian newspaper, Lundekvam said the players manipulated incidents such as the first throw-in for betting purposes.

The world governing body announced on Wednesday they will investigate the claims.

Lundekvam has now said: "Of course I will talk to FIFA - I have no problem with that. Unfortunately I've been honest about it, so I need to."

He added: "I will obviously have some names and matches. But, to be honest, I wouldn't say any more than I have said already if I don't have to. I would not want to name anyone else. That's not for me to do but I will stand up for what I have said."

Lundekvam reiterated his claims after a number of his former team-mates – such as Francis Benali and David Hirst - denied knowing anything about it.

"I haven't made anything up," he said. "Why would I? I've got nothing to gain from making this up.

"I can't believe what has happened in the last few days. I'm sorry that my honesty has caused such a row."

He also played down the seriousness of the alleged spot-fixing, saying it was done more for fun than money.

He said: "It was never about the money. If we had wanted to, we would have put a lot more money on. Could we do it? That was the fun bit of it for us."

He added: "This was a boys' thing. A dressing-room thing. Innocent fun involving small money."

Lundekvam's initial claims came earlier this week, when he said spot-fixing took place in Premier League matches in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

He told Norwegian TV station NRK: "It's not something I'm proud of.

"For a while we did this almost every week. We made a fair bit of money. We could make deals with the opposing captain about, for example, betting on the first throw, the first corner, who started with the ball, a yellow card or a penalty.

"Those were the sorts of thing we had influence over."

Lundekvam insisted he and his fellow players never rigged the result of a match.

He said: "The results were never on the agenda. That is something I would never have done. We were professional competitors. Even though what we did, of course, was illegal, it was just a fun thing."

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