Match fixing trial date set for May

A MAN from Hastings has pleaded not guilty to committing bribery as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into alleged match fixing.

Chann Sankaran, of Hawthorn Road, appeared in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday alongside four other men.

The 33-year-old appeared with three former Conference South footballers and a Singapore national.

Michael Boateng, Hakeem Adelakun and Moses Swaibu pleaded not guilty to one count of bribery and another of plotting to commit the same offence.

The three men are alleged to have conspired together with Krishna Ganeshan and Sankaran, who both pleaded not guilty to three counts of bribery and one of conspiracy to commit bribery.

It is alleged Ganeshan and Sankaran, both originally from Singapore, conspired together with the footballers to commit bribery between November 1 and November 27 last year.

All five defendants will stand trial at the same court on May 19. Former Whitehawk FC players Boateng and Adelakun, both 22 and from Croydon, south London, and Swaibu, 24, of Bermondsey, who has played for several clubs, were granted unconditional bail following the 40-minute hearing. Ganeshan and Sankaran were remanded in custody ahead of their trial, which is expected to run for up to five weeks.

The conspiracy is alleged to have taken place in Manchester and in other areas. The charges relate to defrauding bookmakers by “influencing the course” of football matches.