18 Mar 2014

Match fixers banned worldwide

6:19 am on 18 March 2014

Two English football players have had life bans extended worldwide for fixing matches in Australia's second-tier Victorian Premier League.

Defender Reiss Noel and goalkeeper Joe Woolley, who both played for Southern Stars, pleaded guilty and were fined by a Melbourne court in December after manipulating games on the instruction of betting syndicates based in Malaysia and Hungary.

Noel was slapped with a fine of $2,120 while Woolley got a penalty of $1,272 for his role in the crime.

The two players were subsequently given lifetime bans by the Football Federation of Australia and these were extended worldwide by FIFA's disciplinary committee on Friday.

FIFA says two other British players and one Australian team official were still under FFA bans in relation to the same criminal investigations being conducted by Victoria police.

Malaysian Segaran Gsubramaniam, 45, described by police as the linchpin of the Australian operation and a link between the team and off-shore betting syndicates, also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentence.

Woolley and Noel both played for semi-professional AFC Hornchurch in London before leaving the club in July to play for the Stars.