Two Whitehawk FC players have been charged as part of a major investigation into match fixing in English football.

Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, both 22, were arrested by officers from the newly-established National Crime Agency (NCA) on suspicion of conspiring to defraud and will appear before court on December 11.

The Brighton club, which plays in the Conference South, has suspended both players having been made aware of the investigation at the end of last week.

The players are the third and fourth people to be charged as part of an ongoing investigation.

A spokesman for the NCA said the offences are alleged to have taken place in the City of Manchester and “elsewhere”.

Both men have been bailed and will appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

A spokesman added: “Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun, both from the Croydon area, were charged with conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law.

“The Crown Prosecution Service’s Organised Crime Division found sufficient evidence and was satisfied it was in the public interest to authorise charges.

They are the third and fourth people charged to date in connection with the NCA investigation into an alleged international illegal betting syn- dicate.”

Last week, Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, of Hawthorn Road, Hastings, and Chann Sankaran, of Hougang Avenue, Singapore, appeared before court on the same charge.

The 33 and 43-year-old were remanded in custody to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on December 13.

John Summers, joint chairman of Whitehawk FC, said when the club made contact with Adelakun the 22-year-old broke down in tears and said he had been arrested.

Mr Summers said: “They deny everything.”

The club suspended both players following a board meeting last week.

Mr Summers added: “It has come as a hell of a shock to the club.”

The charges relate to the period between November 1 and November 26 – when both were Whitehawk FC players.

The charge alleges they “conspired together with Krishna Ganeshan, Chann Sankaran and others to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets thereon”.

Defender Boateng was born in Peckham, London.

He began his career in the youth ranks at Crystal Palace before joining Car- shalton in Surrey.

He moved to Bristol Rovers in 2011 before spells at Bromley, Sutton and most recently Newport County.

Adelakun also started his career at Palace before going on to play for Lewes FC. Both joined Whitehawk in the summer.