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7 footballers charged with match-fixing in Singapore

February 06, 2008 16:38 IST
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Seven soccer players from former S.League club Liaoning Guangyuan have been charged with match-fixing, the Singaporean league said on Wednesday.

The Chinese club, who played just one season in Singapore, was kicked out at the end of the 2007 season.

The seven charged are: Wang Lin, Li Xuebai, Li Zheng, Tong Di, Peng Zhiyi, Dong Lei and Zhao Zhipeng.

Nobody at the club was immediately available for comment.

S.League CEO Winston Lee said that if found guilty, the league would call for worldwide life bans for the seven.

"Match-fixing is a serious offence and a threat to the credibility of the game," he said in a statement.

"If they are guilty, we hope that the punishment meted out will send out a strong message that there is no place for corruption in football here.

"Anyone that falls foul of the law here will have to bear the severe consequences of their actions.

"The players have already been suspended from all forms of football activities in Singapore and they will be permanently banned should they be found guilty," he added

"The FAS (Singapore Football Association) will also be recommending to AFC and FIFA to extend their life bans worldwide should that be the case."

Asia has long been blighted by soccer corruption scandals.

Last year, a Vietnamese court sentenced four soccer referees to jail for bribery and match-fixing.

In November, Interpol uncovered $680 million worth of illegal soccer betting across Asia after a series of raids.

Planning for the raids took place from June and was timed to match the start of major soccer seasons, with illegal betting found in all the participating countries: Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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