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Match-fixing charges against 13 footballers have been dropped

Prosecutors have dropped the case against 13 footballers investigated over alleged match-fixing after considering the reliability of evidence from 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" in the case in light of the collapse of Tulisa Contostavlos' trial.

The former X Factor judge was cleared of brokering a cocaine deal in July last year following a newspaper sting led by Mr Mahmood, after Judge Alistair McCreath said there were "strong grounds" to believe The Sun On Sunday
reporter lied in the witness box.

Contostavlos' rapper friend Mike GLC – real name Michael Coombs – was also cleared after he pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "A file was passed to the CPS in July 2014 from the National Crime Agency (NCA) in relation to alleged football match-fixing in 2013. This case involved evidence in relation to 13 suspects.

"The reliability of the evidence of one alleged witness in particular had to be very carefully considered in light of recent events in the trial of R - v - Contostavlos and Coombs.

"This was not the only evidence that was considered and when all the evidence submitted by investigators was carefully reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

"We have informed the NCA of this decision and they have written to the suspects announcing that no further action will be taken."

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