Three former non-league players deny conspiring to fix matches

Michael Boateng (R) denies involvement in conspiring to fix matches.

DARREN STAPLES/Action Images / Reuters

BIRMINGHAM, England–  Three former non-league soccer players in England have denied conspiring to fix matches as part of an investigation into a suspected international betting syndicate.

Michael Boateng, Hakeem Adelakun and Moses Swaibu appeared in court in Birmingham on Tuesday after being charged with one count of bribery and another of plotting to commit the same offense.

The three played in the sixth-tier Conference South division. They were arrested in December following an undercover operation by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. That led to two men – Krishna Ganeshan and Chann Sankaran, both originally from Singapore – being charged with conspiring with the players to commit bribery from Nov. 1-27 last year.

Ganeshan and Sankaran also pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three counts of bribery and one of conspiracy to commit bribery. The five men will stand trial May 19.