LIVERPOOL, England - The father and uncle of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney were arrested Thursday as part of an investigation into betting irregularities at a Scottish Premier League football match.
A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Rooney's two relatives were among the nine men arrested in the betting investigation. Police are not authorized to comment publicly about the identity of those arrested.
The younger Rooney, who also plays for England's national team, has not been implicated in the investigation, which focuses on Motherwell's home match against Hearts at Fir Park on Dec. 14. Motherwell lost 2-1.
Merseyside police said Rooney's 48-year-old father, who is also named Wayne, and 54-year-old uncle Richie Rooney were arrested at their homes in Liverpool on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud along with seven other men. The pair were released on police bail along with two others on Thursday afternoon pending further inquiries.
One of those detained was Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, who played in the match and was given a straight red card with eight minutes remaining for disputing a penalty decision. Jennings had earlier been booked.
The betting investigation centers around a player receiving a red card in the match.
"Detectives have today executed warrants at 10 addresses across Merseyside and Glasgow and arrested nine men as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity," Merseyside police said in a statement. "The arrests are the culmination of a joint operation with the Gambling Commission."
It has been reported that several bets were placed on there being a red card in the match, including a bet of 500 pounds ($765) placed through a new account opened in Liverpool at odds of 10-1.
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said the arrests were the result of "extensive enquiries" into suspicious betting patterns.
"It is important to stress that the evidence gathered throughout this thorough period of investigation has involved only one Scottish match," Regan said in an SFA statement.
Rooney is currently on England duty in Montenegro ahead of a crucial European Championship qualifier.
"I spoke to (Rooney) and I found him relaxed and calm," England coach Fabio Capello said. "No problems for the game tomorrow against Montenegro."
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