News 15 April 2015

Ex-Premiership footballer acted as match-fixing ‘middle man’

Delroy Facey, a professional footballer who scored twice for Bolton Wanderers during the 2002/3 season, acted as a ‘middle man’ to a betting syndicate that fixed matches around the world, Birmingham Crown Court heard yesterday. He is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery along with Moses Swaibu, a former professional footballer with Crystal Palace. Prosecutors allege that the men were part of a syndicate that would pay lower league players to score own goals, give away penalties or get booked, for example. It is alleged that Facey acted as a middle man to find players who might be willing to take part in match-fixing, due to his career at a wide range of football clubs.

Facey, 34, was arrested in September 2014 as part of a UK National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into match-fixing. The investigation led to charges against five people, three of which are footballers.

In June 2014, Birmingham Crown Court sentenced three men for attempting to fix football games, following a Daily Telegraph undercover investigation. Birmingham Crown Court found that Singaporean Chann Sankaran and Krishna Ganeshan, a UK national originally from Sri Lanka, had recruited Michael Boateng from Conference South team Whitehawk FC to help them fix games. Boateng and Swaibu have both played for Conference South club Whitehawk FC and Football League club Lincoln City, for which Boateng has also played. A fourth man, Hakeem Adelakun, was acquitted. Sankaran and Ganeshan were sentenced to five years imprisonment, while Boateng received a 16-month sentence.

The NCA found that Boateng had accepted cash from Sankaran and Ganeshan to manipulate Conference South games. The trio were also charged with attempting to fix a 26 November 2013 match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two, the fourth tier of English professional football. ‘Over a seven day period in November 2013, NCA surveillance of the men provided enough evidence to secure their convictions, despite the failure of their plot to fix a match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham & Redbridge on 26 November’, read an NCA statement. Boateng was given a lifetime suspension by England’s Football Association, later extended worldwide by FIFA.

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