Match-fixing is a global problem and something that, unfortunately, is becoming harder and harder to get rid of. The endemic reared its ugly head again after two separate incidences resulted in the sanctioning of over 20 football players allegedly involved in match-fixing.
One case is currently being investigated by the Asian Football Confederation with regards to a report that match-fixing took place in Lebanon involving 24 players who allegedly played roles in rigging international and regional games. The Lebanese Football Federation meted down the sanctions earlier this week after the West Asian Football Federation concluded a two-month investigation and pointed to players allegedly involved in rigging international and AFC Cup matches. Two football players – Ramez Dayoub and Mahmour El-Ali – both received lifetime bans with two domestic players – Al-Negma’s Mohammad Jaafar and Al Ahed’s Hadi Sahmarani – both receiving bans for three seasons to go with $7,000 in fines.
WATFF general secretary Fadi Zreigat said that the players that were determined to have been involved in match-fixing have every right to appeal the decision made by the LFF, a course of action that at least one of the aforementioned players is taking. “I am not guilty. They have suspended me and accused me of match-fixing without any evidence or proof,” Dayoub told FOX Sports.
“If I really am guilty of match-fixing, FIFA will investigate and suspend me, not the Lebanese FA.”
Meanwhile, another suspected case of match-fixing is brewing over in Vietnam after the organizing board of the country’s National Super Cup game requested an investigation surrounding suspicions of match-fixing involving the NSC match between two local teams, Saigon Xuan Thanh and SHB Da Nang.
While nobody has been specifically charged with rigging the match, Vietnam Professional Football JSC senior official Nguyen Van Vinh disclosed information regarding an anonymous message sent to the VPF detailing an outcome of a match involving Saigon Xuan Thanh Cement FC, including the number of goals by which it would lose by. To the surprise of VPF officials, Xuan Thanh lost the Super Cup trophy to host SHB Da Nang in lopsided fashion, 4-0.
The foreboding nature of the text message and the accuracy by which it determined the course of the match prompted the VPF’s Ethical Advisory Committee to launch an investigation to determine if anything erroneous happened during the match. No player has cast under suspicion, but the case is now being investigated by the VPF and the police with Xuan Thanh expressing its willingness to cooperate in the investigation.