Former Whitehawk FC players Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun are appearing in front of a Birmingham Court today. The two are accused of “conspiring to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets”, an offense punishable under UK gambling laws.
After a thorough investigation, the National Crime Agency (NCA) eventually brought charges against the two players on November 5. According to the latest online gambling news in the UK, Boateng and Adelakun were bailed to appear at the Birmingham Crown Court on December 13.
Hakeem Adelakun and Michael Boateng, both 22, were teammates at Whitehawk FC, which plays in the Conference South division. In an attempt to protect its name, the Brighton football club decided to get rid of both for “bringing the club into disrepute”, immediately after charges were brought. “The board are disappointed by these allegations and have taken steps to protect the club”, said club director Mark Turner.
An official statement was released right after Boateng and Adelakun were dismissed, as Whitehawk FC wanted to make it clear that “the board, club, coaching staff and players were completely unaware of the actions of these two players”.
The two are thought to have plotted to defraud bookmakers through “spot-fixing” and have appeared in court on Wednesday, during a brief hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, but spoke only to confirm their names and addresses.
At the end of November, Chann Sankaran and Sanjey Ganeshan were charged with plotting to defraud bookmakers and Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun are thought to be involved in the alleged international illegal betting syndicate scheme. A total of seven people have been arrested on the same charges, including former Premier League footballer, Delroy Facey. If found guilty, the accused could spend up to 10 years in prison.
With such unsportsmanlike conduct, the two British football players have caused great disappointment to fans and gamblers who bet on sports in the UK.