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Soccer-Two men remanded in custody over match-fixing inquiry

Reuters

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Two men charged with conspiracy to defraud as part of an investigation into match-fixing in English lower league soccer were remanded in custody on Friday.

The two, named Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old with dual UK and Singapore nationality, appeared at Cannock Magistrates Court on Friday.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA) both are alleged to be members of an illegal betting syndicate based in Singapore. They were both remanded in custody until Dec. 13.

The charges allege that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26, "the two men conspired together with each other and others to defraud bookmakers by influencing the courses of football matches and placing bets thereon," the BBC said on its website (www.bbc.co.uk).

The pair were among six people arrested earlier this week on suspicion of match-fixing. A seventh man has since been arrested and he and four others were bailed on Thursday.

A Daily Telegraph report said the focus was on the lower leagues, although one former Premier League player who is now an agent but still playing at a minor level, was implicated.

According to the Telegraph report one of the alleged fixers said in a covertly recorded interview that he had "manipulated" World Cup matches.

Reacting to the latest allegations FIFA vice president Jim Boyce told the paper: "Match-fixing is a very serious problem and is one that has to be tackled at the very highest level.

"Anyone found guilty will be banned for life. FIFA has many investigations working throughout the world to try to erode the game of this cancer. It has got to be stamped out."

Earlier this year, an inquiry by European police forces, Europol and national prosecutors uncovered a global betting scam run from Singapore.

About 680 suspicious matches, including the European Champions League and qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championships, were identified in the investigation.

The last major match-fixing scandal in England occurred in the mid-1960s when 10 players were found guilty and jailed for conspiring to fix matches. (Editing by Alison Wildey)

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