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2 Asian businessmen, player sentenced to jail for plotting to fix low-level English football

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BIRMINGHAM, England - A player and two businessmen were sentenced to jail on Friday for attempting to fix lower league football matches in England.

Businessmen Chann Sankaran, 33, and Krishna Ganeshan, 44, were jailed for five years for conspiracy to commit bribery. Michael Boateng, a former player for sixth-tier Whitehawk FC, received a 16-month sentence.

Following a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, a jury found that Sankaran, of Singapore, and Ganeshan, a British national from Sri Lanka, were central conspirators in efforts to fix matches in League Two and the Conference South divisions, and recruited Boateng to the plot.

The jury cleared another player, Hakeem Adelakun. A third player will face a retrial as the jury was unable to reach a verdict in his case.

"Professional football and sport play an important part in national life and individuals' lives in this country," Judge Melbourne Inman said in sentencing the three men. "Those who make determined attempts to destroy its integrity for personal gain must expect significant prison sentences so when such acts are discovered a clear signal is sent to others."

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