5 Apr 2013

Lebanese refs charged with receiving sexual bribes

11:30 am on 5 April 2013

Three Lebanese football officials have been charged with receiving sexual bribes to fix an Asian Cup match in Singapore.

Referee Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were hastily replaced by officials from Thailand and Malaysia for Tampines Rovers' 4-2 defeat by East Bengal of India on Wednesday.

The Lebanese trio were taken to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau instead and appeared in a Singapore court.

The bureau says each were charge of one count of corruptly receiving gratification, in the form of free sexual service.

In February, European anti-crime agency Europol said hundreds of football matches had been fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore and identified some 680 suspicious matches, including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championship.

Later that month, the Lebanese Football Association punished 24 players for their involvement in rigging international and regional matches.