UK & World News

  • 27 February 2013, 21:12

Match-Fixing: Fifa Bans Officials And Players

Fifa has banned 74 more players and officials from world football for helping fix matches, this time in Italy and South Korea.

The sport's governing body said that 70 bans from the Italian Football Federation, including 11 lifetime ones, have been extended worldwide after players and officials were sanctioned for match-fixing.

Prosecutors in Italy have pieced together a conspiracy they believe was organised from Singapore to bet on rigged Italian football matches.

The association also extended bans on four South Koreans.

Fifa said the latest cases involved either a "direct involvement or omission to report match-fixing, illegal betting or corrupt organisation (association to commit illicit acts)".

It has been especially keen to crack down on corruption since European police agency Europol announced earlier this month that around 680 matches were suspected of being fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore.

The association's president, Sepp Blatter, played down Europol's investigation, saying betting scams will soon be a thing of the past.

"We're fighting against that. Because if the matches are fixed there's no more interest in going to watch football," he said earlier this month.

Last week, Italian authorities detained suspect Admir Suljic, a Slovenian national, when he landed in Milan on a flight from Singapore.

Suljic, an alleged associate of Singaporean businessman Tan Seet Eng, faces charges of criminal association and sports fraud.

Tan, also known as Dan Tan, is accused of heading a crime syndicate that has made millions of pounds gambling on fixed matches around the world.

Singapore police said last week that Tan was assisting its investigation into alleged match-fixing.

The latest global sanctions follow worldwide sanctions imposed on 10 people last year and a further 41 last month.

And two days ago,Fifa extended bans to 58 people found guilty of match-fixing offences in China.

Of those, the football body expelled 33 from the sport for life, including 2002 World Cup referee Lu Jun.

Fifa can apply worldwide sanctions after national football associations complete their own investigations and impose bans.

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