FIFA Charge Six Match Officials with Match-Fixing Tournament

March 11, 2011

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has charged six match officials allegedly involved in match-fixing during an international friendly tournament in Antalya, Turkey, on February 9.

FIFA announced that it had opened disciplinary proceedings after investigating games between Bolivia and Latvia and also Estonia and Bulgaria which produced seven goals, all of which were scored from penalties. One of those awarded was even missed and subsequently re-taken due to an alleged infringement.

A statement released by FIFA read: “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. The FIFA disciplinary committee will be in charge to deal with the matter.”

Officials from the four countries involved raised questions about the game with FIFA and UEFA and also queried the identities of the match officials involved, while unusual betting patterns on the matches were also reported.

FIFA have not disclosed the identities of the officials charged, but the Hungarian Football Association last month suspended referee Kolos Lengyel and two other Hungarian assistant referees following the matches in Turkey. The exhibition tournament was organised by a Thailand-based company called Footy Sport International.