FIFA act against Zambia over match-fixing players

Reuters, Friday 22 Feb 2013

World soccer body FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Zambian Football Association for having allegedly transferred and registered players who were banned for match-fixing in Finland

Joseph Blatter, president of the FIFA,
Joseph Blatter, president of the FIFA (Photo: Reuters)

FIFA said on Friday that the Zambian FA had apparently transferred eight players without an international transfer certificate and outside of the registration period.

"In addition, the players were all suspended by the Finland Football Association for match-fixing offences and these sanctions were extended as to have worldwide effect by the Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee," it said in a statement.

"At least four of the eight players apparently played in official matches in Zambia despite being suspended on a worldwide basis."

FIFA said disciplinary proceedings were started on Feb. 19 and the Zambian FA had been invited to explain its reasoning to the Swiss-based body with its position and any appropriate documentary evidence.

The Zambian players were banned from all football-related activity by the Finnish federation for two years from April 2011 for match-fixing and unsporting behaviour. FIFA subsequently extended the ban worldwide.

Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal was sentenced to two years in prison last year for fixing matches in Finland in a scandal that saw nine players suspended.

A Lapland district court statement at the time said Perumal had been part of an international organised group that tried to fix matches played by Rovaniemi club between June 2008 and February 2011.

Perumal paid players up to 20,000 euros ($26,400) per match and received up to 50,000 euros, in addition to some of the betting profits, each time the results were fixed.

Match-fixing has become a huge concern for soccer authorities with European police and prosecutors saying this month that hundreds of games may have been rigged by a syndicate being run from Singapore.


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