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Soccer Body Gives Global Bans to Chinese Match-Fixing Officials

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Soccer Body Gives Global Bans to Chinese Match-Fixing Officials
Earlier this month, the Europol police agency said a Singapore-based operation tried to fix games across Europe, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, to generate more than $10.6 million in profit. Photographer: Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gave worldwide bans to 58 people as part of an investigation into match-fixing in China.

The players and coaches, already suspended from soccer-related activity in China, had the punishment extended world-wide, FIFA said today in an e-mailed statement. Twenty-five people were suspended for 5 years, while the remainder received life-time bans, the body said. The Chinese Football Association, or CFA, cooperated with the investigations.

“The CFA has emphasized its ongoing commitment to stamping out all forms of match-fixing and corruption in the game,” FIFA said today in the statement. “The CFA set up a special task force consisting of members of the CFA disciplinary committee in March 2012 to make recommendations based on the investigations.”

Earlier this month, the Europol police agency said a Singapore-based operation tried to fix games across Europe, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, to generate more than 8 million euros ($10.6 million) in profit. An 18-month investigation, Operation VETO, found 425 match officials, club executives, players and criminals in 15 countries worked to cheat in more than 380 matches, with another 300 targeted in other regions.

The Chinese cases come from investigations and trials conducted by local judicial authorities between 2010 and 2012 with the cooperation of the CFA. The cases involved relate to match-fixing in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The sentencing of those convicted by Chinese authorities ended the statutory appeal period for the original sentences that they handed down in June 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty at phegarty@bloomberg.net

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