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Zimbabwe Football Match-fixer Served Jail Term In Britain

Harare - Suspected Asian match-fixer, who is part of a cartel accused by ZIFA of plotting to fix Zimbabwe’s AFCON qualifiers and manipulati...

Harare - Suspected Asian match-fixer, who is part of a cartel accused by ZIFA of plotting to fix Zimbabwe’s AFCON qualifiers and manipulating games in the South African Premiership is a former British jailbird for fixing matches in the English Conference League.

For the first time since this scandal broke last week, The Herald can exclusively reveal today that Chann Sankaran, a Singaporean who was only released from a British jail in December last year, was part of the cartel that ZIFA and their whistleblower claim was plotting to fix the Warriors’ 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers against Swaziland on Easter weekend.

Sankaran might be the mystery mastermind, referred to as the “Chief”, by the whistleblower whose explosive documents triggered the volcanic eruption of a scandal that has rocked Zimbabwe and South African football.
Chann Sankaran  

According to exclusive documents gleaned by The Herald, Sankaran was even introduced to Zimbabwe international goalkeeper George Chigova, accused by ZIFA and their whistleblower as being a central figure in the match-fixing scandal, by former Warriors’ coach Ian Gorowa in a dark parking lot in South Africa.

A former member of the FIFA anti-corruption crack team, specialising in fighting match-fixing, said that for Sankaran to plunge back into the match-fixing underworld, just 10 weeks after being released from jail, provided confirmation that this cancer wasn’t going to be defeated easily.

Sankaran was jailed for five years after conspiracy to bribery after he was found guilty of working, in collaboration with Krishan Ganeshan, and former footballer, Michael Boateng, to try and fix matches in the English lower leagues.

He had barely spent a year in England when he was arrested after a sting operation in which the Daily Telegraph played a key role in recording the plot. “I am satisfied you were at the head of this conspiracy, you two were the controlling minds,” Judge Melbourne Inman said to Sankaran and Ganeshan.

“The two of you came to this country in November last year, for the sole reason of visiting clubs to find players you could corrupt to fix matches. Professional football and sport play an important part in national life and individuals’ lives in this country.

“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.” The judge said the duo had clearly targeted lower division football clubs because the cost of bribing the players “on their modest wages” was cheaper than approaching players from the higher leagues.
Some Of The Zimbabwe Football Players Were Allegedly Paid To Lose Matches 

Sankaran was deported soon after serving his jail term and, just 10 weeks later, he was in South Africa plotting to fix matches in the country’s top-flight league and, according to ZIFA, also rigging the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

Yesterday, the whistleblower who blew the cover on the scandal, provided a warned-and-cautioned statement to the police as the country’s law enforcement forces moved in to deal with the case. The whistleblower claims that suspended ZIFA board member, Edzai Kasinauyo, former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya and former Warriors’ coach, Ian Gorowa, were part of the cartel.

Rushwaya claims she was working undercover, to nail the match-fixers, while Gorowa and Kasinauyo have denied being part of the cartel to fix matches. - The Herald 

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