Allegations of match fixing in East Lancashire nothing new

ALLEGATIONS of fixing in football matches date back more than 115 years ago, in a match between Burnley and Stoke, in 1898.

The teams entered the field knowing a draw would see both clubs promoted. Predictably, the game finished 0-0.

The next year, Clarets captain and goalkeeper Jack Hillman was banned for a year after offering bribes to opposition players in another incident.

More recently, three Accrington Stanley players and one from Bury were fined and banned by the FA after breaching betting rules in 2008. The four had bet on the outcome of their game, which Bury won 2-0.

Stanley’s Peter Cavanagh was suspended for eight months and fined £3,500, Jay Harris was banned for a year and fined £5,500, David Mannix was banned for ten months and fined £4,000 and Robert Williams was banned for eight months and fined £3,500.

Bury’s Andrew Mangan was banned for five months.

Just last month, six members of an alleged betting syndicate were arrested on suspicion of fixing games in England.

As a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Crime Agency, Chann Sankaran, 33, Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, 43, Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, both 22, were all charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Boateng and Adelakun, footballers with Conference South team Whitehawk FC, are due to appear before magistrates tomorrow, and Sankaran and Ganeshan were remanded in custody to appear at Crown Court on Friday.

An ‘Integrity in Sport’ report authored by sports union, Sport Accord, said 15 years ago punters would bet on the outright winner of a game, but now ‘it is possible to bet on anything’ making spot fixing in football possible. It said: “Twenty years ago, sports betting was strictly regulated at a national level. From the mid-90s onwards, internet gambling companies proliferated.

“These companies are very mobile, especially those linked to criminal activities.

“Some website operators relocate their host servers and country of operation several times a month, making them much harder to track.

“The risk of match fixers getting caught is very small, as it is hard for police to spot suspicious money transfers or punters as soon as more than one country is involved.”

The report claimed betting regulations would be ‘key’ in the fight against match fixing.

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