FIFA extends ban worldwide in Lebanon match-fixing scandal
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA has imposed a worldwide ban on 23 players and one official found guilty of match-fixing by the Lebanon Football Association, world football's governing body said on Wednesday.
The global ban follows sanctions imposed by the Lebanese FA in February against those involved in the scandal.
They handed out various penalties to the 24 including life bans for defender Ramez Dayoub and forward Mahmoud El-Ali, following allegations that international and regional games were rigged.
"Of the players involved, 20 received a one-year ban from all football-related activities while the remaining individuals received a two-year ban, three-year ban and lifetime ban respectively," FIFA said in a statement.
"One official was sanctioned with both a lifetime ban from all football-related activities, as well as a lifetime stadium ban."
The Lebanese conducted a two-month investigation involving over 60 witnesses which was led by the general secretary of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), Fadi Zreiqat, who said international and club games were targeted by fixers.
The Asian Football Confederation said in February it was not aware of any suspicion linking Lebanon's World Cup qualifiers to the scandal but had also requested a full report.
Asian football has been hit with numerous matchfixing incidents, with South Korea, Malaysia and China all experiencing recent rigging problems.
(Reporting by Mike Collett in London. Editing by Patrick Johnston)
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