Soccer

FIFA probes match-fixing

2011-03-10 11:19

London - FIFA launched match-fixing disciplinary proceedings on Thursday against six match officials suspected of helping manipulate two international games in a betting scam.

Football's governing body said the games were the Bolivia vs. Latvia and Estonia vs. Bulgaria friendlies played in the Turkish city of Antalya on February 9.

"The proceedings were opened following an evaluation of all documentation and information received by FIFA, in relation to a possible match-fixing situation in these matches," FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA said no date has been set for its disciplinary committee to hear the cases.

Privacy rules meant FIFA would not the identify the officials or their nationality, it said.

Last month, Hungary's football federation said it had suspended referee Kolos Lengyel who officiated one of the matches.

Suspicions were raised when all seven goals in the two matches were scored from penalty kicks, as Latvia beat Bolivia 2-1 and Estonia and Bulgaria played out a 2-2 draw.

One of the penalties was ordered to be retaken after the initial spot kick was missed.

Officials from all four national teams complained to FIFA which asked the federations for help in their investigation.

The games were organized, and the match officials chosen, by a Thailand-based agency called Footy Sport International which used a FIFA-licensed agent from Russia to arrange the doubleheader.

National teams often use agencies to arrange friendly matches and are free to choose their opponents and play in a neutral country.

Read more on:    fifa
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