Two arrested in fixing probe

Two people have been charged over football match-fixing allegations, while one further arrest has been made.

Last Updated: 29/11/13 at 07:44 Post Comment

Six men were arrested earlier this week over the allegations following an investigation by the Daily Telegraph.

Three of the other suspects are said to be current footballers and it is understood the probe involves clubs in the Football Conference.

A statment on the National Crime Agency website read: "Two men suspected of involvement in football match fixing were charged this afternoon.

"The Crown Prosecution's Organised Crime Division found sufficient evidence and was satisfied it was in the public interest to authorise charges of conspiracy to defraud.

"The men, who are alleged to be members of an international illegal betting syndicate based in Singapore, are among six people arrested earlier this week as part of a National Crime Agency investigation.

"A seventh man has since been arrested and he and four others were bailed today pending further enquiries.

"Chann Sankaran, a 33 year old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43 year old with dual UK and Singapore nationality, have been remanded in custody and will appear before Cannock Magistrates on 29 November."

In an undercover video recorded by the Telegraph during the course of its investigation, an internationally known fixer, who claims 'players can be bought for £70,000', correctly predicts the results of three games played by the same team.

Sky News' Paul Kelso spoke exclusively to one of the undercover investigators used by the paper.

Michael Pride, who runs Australian based agency Sports Intelligence, explained how gambling syndicates work in general and alleged that English football had been a target for many years.

"They've been in business - if you like to call it that - or fixing matches internationally for over a decade even probably more than that Paul (Kelso).

"We see this as a major impact on fixing internationally. They have been set up in this particular way with tentacles throughout the world. If they have one investor they will put 50,000 euros to pay the players and then on top of that they will be laying out about 200,000 euros on the betting market.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, especially with lower divisions, they're always a target for these syndicates that are looking at lower divisions and players and administrators of clubs and teams that can be manipulated easily with money and the attraction of money."

"They see the UK as a good place to base some syndicated members to control operations around the UK and Europe in general."

Sports lawyer Kevin Carpenter insists the problem of match-fixing needs to be tackled on a global scale and believes more focus needs to be on the individuals orchestrating the corruption.

He told Sky Sports News: "It is the single biggest threat to football and to sport more widely. It has ruined and stopped many leagues from functioning correctly, sponsors are walking away from the sport, it is a truly global problem.

"FIFA and Interpol have a 10-year agreement where they are doing a number of different initiatives. Interpol are doing a great amount of work in co-ordinating police forces because it is a global problem and police forces must work together.

"On the sporting sanction side they (people involved in match-fixing) are likely to face lengthy bans from the sport - life bans are being given by national associations and extended by FIFA - that is a ban from any activity in football, so it is the end of your career in that sport.

"I would stress that what we really need to do is focus on the criminals behind the players, who get to them and force them to match-fix, sometimes under duress, we need to arrest these people, imprison them and cut off their funding."

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