Football: Match-fixing suspects sacked by English football club

LONDON (AFP) - An English non-league club on Saturday announced that it had sacked two of their players after they were charged over match-fixing allegations.

Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, both 22, were charged this week with conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law following an investigation by Britain's National Crime Agency.

The pair's club, Whitehawk FC, from the southern English coastal town of Brighton, said that the two men had been "dismissed with immediate effect" after an emergency board meeting.

In a statement, the club, which plays in the sixth tier of English football, said: "The club was aware that these two players, namely Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, were being investigated last week, at which time the club took immediate steps to suspend them pending the outcome of investigation by the police.

"In light of recent decisions by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, the club can now confirm, after an emergency meeting of the board (on Friday December 6), that the two players have been dismissed with immediate effect for bringing the club into disrepute."

Boateng and Adelakun, both of whom are from south London, are scheduled to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court in central England on December 11.

They are the third and fourth people to have been charged in connection with an investigation into an alleged international betting syndicate.

Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old British passport-holder, were remanded in custody until December 13.

Sankaran and Ganeshan, alleged to be members of a Singapore-based betting syndicate, have been accused of conspiring to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets on them between November 1 and November 26 this year.

The maximum sentence for the offence is 10 years' imprisonment.

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