FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has continued its clampdown on those found guilty of match-fixing or other corrupt activities by confirming the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on 74 players and officials – 70 by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and four from the Korean Football Association (KFA).
FIFA has imposed sanctions on 70 people, including 11 who were banned for life, 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 worked to establish a conspiracy they believe was organised from Singapore to bet on rigged Italian games. Italian authorities last week detained Slovenian national Admir Suljic, who had been on the run since December 2011 and is considered a “key element” in Italy’s ‘Last Bet’ investigation into match-fixing between 2009 and 2011.
South Korean football has also been hit by its own major match-fixing scandal in recent years and FIFA said the four new sanction extensions follow on from 10 football participants whose sanctions were extended in June 2012, and 41 players whose sanctions were extended in January. The Italian and South Korean sanctions come just days after FIFA extended bans to 58 people found guilty of match-fixing offenses in China, 33 of which were life bans.
FIFA’s announcement came as Asian football was hit by another match-fixing scandal on Wednesday. The Asian Football Confederation is investigating a report from Lebanon where 24 players have been sanctioned following allegations that international and regional games were fixed.