Uefa bans refereeing pair over match-fixing

European football's governing body has punished an Armenian duo for their attempt to influence the outcome of an Europa League match

Uefa has banned Armenian referee Andranik Arsenyan and his assistant Hovhannes Avagyan for life for attempting to fix a Europa League match.

Arsenyan and Avagyan admitted they attempted to manipulate the outcome of the fixture between Inter Turku and Vikingur on July 11 this year. 

An initial investigation had been sparked after the governing body's betting fraud detection system uncovered suspicious betting patterns around the fixture.

"Referee Andranik Arsenyan and assistant Hovhannes Avagyan, who officiated at a Europa League match last month between Inter Turku and Vikingur, have been suspended for life by the Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body (CDB) for their attempt to manipulate the outcome of this game," a Uefa statement reads.

"In a hearing at the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA), referee Arsenyan and assistant referee Avagyan admitted having tried to manipulate the outcome of the second-leg fixture, which ended 1-0 in favour of Vikingur.

"The Uefa betting fraud detection system (BFDS) – which monitors over 32,000 matches across Europe, including all first and second division games, cup ties and Uefa competition fixtures – had detected suspicious betting patterns around this encounter, and this prompted the start of an investigation by Uefa, to which the FFA contributed closely.

"Uefa is pleased with the excellent cooperation of the FFA, the local authorities and the betting operators during the investigation process."

The decision follows the recent banning of Ukrainian outfit Metalist Kharkiv from all Uefa competitions after a match-fixing inquiry.