Saturday 17 March 2018

Two charged in Britain as match-fixing probe deepens

UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he hopes that this is not just the tip of the scandal
UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he hopes that this is not just the tip of the scandal

Ben Priechenfried

TWO men have been charged in an investigation into soccer match-fixing that may involve five others – the duo will be held until their next hearing.

Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singaporean, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old from the UK, have appeared before Cannock magistrates and will be held until the December 13 hearing, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The five other men arrested were released on bail, the agency said.

Mr Sankaran and Mr Ganeshan were charged with conspiracy to defraud by conspiring together and with others to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets, the NCA said. The charges bring a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

The 'Daily Telegraph' has also named one of the men arrested as player-agent Delroy Facey, a former player who made 10 Premier League appearances during an 18-month spell at Bolton that ended in January 2004.

At least three others are soccer players, the 'Telegraph' said, adding that none of the teams involved in the probe are in the Premier League.

The NCA said it originally believed Mr Ganeshan was a citizen of Singapore and the UK, although he only holds a British passport. The NCA, which started operations last month and focuses on stopping organised crime, said it's working on the investigation with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association, soccer's governing body in England.

In February, a European law-enforcement probe into a Singapore-based operation revealed details of the attempted fixing of 680 matches including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, Champions League matches and several top-flight games.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was worried about the allegations.

"I've read accounts of football match-fixing in other countries and thought 'There by the grace of God go we'," Mr Clegg said.

"I hope that's the sum total of it. It would be terrible if we look back on this in months and years to come and discover this is just the tip."

Irish Independent

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