FIFA extends match-fixing bans for 70 from Italy

Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:57pm IST

A logo of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) is pictured at the Home of FIFA in Zurich July 5, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer/Files

A logo of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) is pictured at the Home of FIFA in Zurich July 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer/Files

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REUTERS - Match-fixing bans for 74 players and officials from Italy and South Korea have been extended worldwide, the sport's governing body FIFA said on Wednesday.

FIFA said that 70 bans from the Italian Football Federation, including 11 lifetime ones, had been extended after players and officials had been sanctioned for match-fixing in various hearings.

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

FIFA said bans were also extended in the cases of four South Koreans.

The extensions come just two days after FIFA announced 58 Chinese soccer officials and players would also have their match-fixing bans extended worldwide.

FIFA has been especially keen to be seen to be cracking down on corruption since European anti-crime agency Europol announced on February 4 that around 680 matches were suspected of being fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore.

Asian soccer was hit by another match-fixing scandal on Wednesday, with the Asian Football Confederation investigating a report from Lebanon where 24 players have been sanctioned following allegations that international and regional games were rigged.

The AFC announced last week that it had set up a task force to help combat match-fixing in the continent. (Writing by Toby Davis in London; editing by Ed Osmond)

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