Football match-fixing trio sent to prison

Krishna Ganeshan, Chann Sankaran and Michael Boateng were convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery

A footballer and two businessmen who were convicted of involvement in a match-fixing plot have been sentenced to time in prison.

Former Whitehawk FC defender Michael Boateng, 22, was jailed on Friday alongside Chann Sankaran, 33, and Krishna Ganeshan, 44, for plotting to fix the results of lower league matches.

The trio were found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery after a four-week trial.

Hakeem Adelakun, who also played for the Brighton club, was cleared by Birmingham Crown Court.

Sankaran, who comes from Singapore, and Ganeshan, who is originally from Sri Lanka, were described in court as the "central figures" and were sentenced to five years in prison.

The court heard that they had tried to influence the outcome of matches in League Two and the Conference South.

Boateng, of Croydon, a former defender with the Conference South club, was sentenced to 16 months for his role in the plot.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC, who sentenced the men, said that professional football and sport played "an important part in national life and individuals' lives" in Britain.

"Those who make determined attempts to destroy its integrity for personal gain must expect significant prison sentences so when such acts are discovered a clear signal is sent to others," he said.

The judge also warned Sankaran he would be "liable to deportation" to his home country once he had served his sentence.

"The two of you came to this country in November last year, for the sole reason of visiting clubs to find players you could corrupt to fix matches," the judge said, addressing Sankaran and Ganeshan; who, he added, had set upon "a plan to corrupt professional footballers".

The judge said it was "sad to see" Boateng - who had previously been a valued church and charity group youth worker in London - in the dock.

"It is, sadly, pure greed that allowed you to become involved in what Sankaran and Ganeshan were doing," he said.

The men were first investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) when the Daily Telegraph presented the agency with evidence from an undercover investigation.

An NCA spokesman said surveillance of the men over a seven-day period in November 2013 provided enough evidence to secure their convictions, even though they had failed to fix a match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham Redbridge.

NCA branch commander Richard Warner described the plot as "corruption and bribery linked to serious organised crime", and said it was "not sport as a football-loving nation recognises it".

He added: "The NCA is determined to stop criminals benefiting from it."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine