FIFA bans players and officials for match-fixing

Last updated 08:02 28/02/2013

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

Sanctions were extended globally on 70 people, including 11 life bans, after a series of cases prosecuted by Italian football authorities.

FIFA said the charges involved "match-fixing (direct involvement or omission to report match-fixing), illegal betting or corrupt organisation (association to commit illicit acts)."

Prosecutors in Cremona, Bari and Napoli have pieced together a conspiracy they believe was organized from Singapore to bet on rigged Italian football matches.

Last week, Italian authorities detained suspect Admir Suljic, a Slovenian national, when he landed in Milan on a flight from Singapore. Suljic, allegedly an 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 dollars gambling on fixed matches around the world.

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

FIFA said the four new South Korean cases follow worldwide sanctions imposed on 10 people last year and a further 41 last month.

The latest global sanctions were announced two days after FIFA extended bans to 58 people found guilty of match-fixing offences in China. Of those, FIFA expelled 33 from football 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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- AP

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