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Friday 19 September 2014

Football match-fix plotters are jailed

Richard Vernalls

Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30

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Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

A footballer and two Far Eastern businessmen have been jailed for plotting to fix the results of lower league matches.

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Michael Boateng (22) was found guilty along with businessmen Chann Sankaran and Krishna Ganeshan of conspiracy to commit bribery following a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Singaporean Sankaran (34), and Sri-Lankan-born Ganeshan (44), labelled in court as "the controlling minds" behind efforts to influence the outcome of matches in League Two and the Conference South, were jailed for five years each.

Boateng, a former defender with Conference South club Whitehawk FC, was jailed for 16 months for his role in the plot.

Sentencing the trio, Judge Melbourne Inman QC told Sankaran he would be "liable to deportation" once he had served his sentence.

He told the co-conspirators their scheme was laid bare following an investigation initially by the 'Daily Telegraph' and later the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Boateng's oldest friends, footballer Hakeem Adelakun (23), of Thornton Heath, south London, was acquitted by the jury.

Jurors were discharged from reaching a verdict on a fifth man, the ex-Whitehawk footballer Moses Swaibu, after deliberating for more than 15 hours.

Swaibu (25), of Tooley Street, Bermondsey, south London, denies a single count of conspiracy and was granted unconditional bail pending a retrial.

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