LONDON (AFP) – Two footballers appeared in court on Wednesday as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing in English non-league football.
Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, who have both been sacked by sixth-tier club Whitehawk FC from the southern English town of Brighton, are accused of taking part in a conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.
The two players, both 22 and from south London, were granted unconditional bail at a magistrates’ court in Birmingham, central England.
A court spokesman said the pair had been ordered to reappear at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.
The two men are accused of having colluded with two other men to influence the course of football matches for an international betting syndicate.
Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old British passport-holder, are also due to go before a judge at Birmingham Crown Court this week.
In a separate investigation, also led by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA), six people, including Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell, have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged spot-fixing.
The arrests followed reports in two British newspapers that a former Portsmouth player, Sam Sodje, claimed he could arrange for footballers in the second-tier Championship to deliberately get themselves booked in return for payments of tens of thousands of pounds.