(WFI) FIFA has confirmed life bans for a number of individuals found guilty of match-fixing in South Korea. It has extended sanctions to 13 individuals brought by both the Korean and Croatian FAs.
The decision follows domestic investigations by both member associations, and is in accordance with article 136 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
Extension of sanctions to other Korean football officials will further increase, pending a review of additional cases by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.
Today’s decision comes after 45 domestic sanctions handed down to football officials and players in Turkey and Finland for match-fixing and illegal betting were extended to have global effect in February and April.
FIFA’s director of security Ralf Mutschke said: “These cases prove once more that the threat of illegal betting and match-fixing is not only confined to one part of the world.
“The integrity of sport, and especially football, is hugely at risk and FIFA is firmly determined to combat this threat and sanction those who do not play by FIFA’s regulations.”
In Korea, an investigation into match-fixing in the “K-League” and League Cup matches led to the Korean FA dishing sanctions, which have now been extended by FIFA.
Sang Hong Lee, Dong Hyun Kim have both received life bans; Jung Kyum Kim and Sung Kuk Choi have received 5-year bans; and Eung Jin Kim, Sung Yo Hong, Byoung Kyu Park, Yeo San Yoon, Kyung Il Sung and Jung Ho Lee all received life bans, with the possibility for a reduction of the sanction after probation.
In Croatia, at least 15 players, two coaches and one club official were involved in a match-fixing scandal in July 2010 that became the subject of criminal investigations.
The Croatian Football Federation (CFF) banned the individuals involved from any football activity for the duration of the investigations. State criminal proceedings are still on-going for most of them.
But in the cases of the coach Vinko Saka and players Mario Darmopil and Danijel Madaric were concluded, allowing the Croatian FA to conduct their own investigation which resulted in lifetime bans.
FIFA has confirmed they have worldwide effect.
The trio were found guilty of match-fixing in the First Croatian Football League in the season 2009/10.
FIFA will deal with the other individuals as soon as their respective disciplinary proceedings are end, so that any sanctions taken by the CFF regarding match fixing will also extend to world football activities.
Italian FA Sanctions Pescara
Pescara have been handed a two-point deduction ahead of next season’s Serie A campaign for their role in the country’s match-fixing scandal known as Calcioscommesse.
The Italian Football Federation also punished two lower division clubs – Novara were given a four-point penalty and third-tier Albinoleffe slapped with a 15-point deduction for their central role in the scandal. The Italian FA also banned four Serie B players for five years.
In the ongoing match-fixing probe, the Italian FA have so far sanctioned 21 teams and 52 players.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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