11 Mar 2011

FIFA investigating two football friendlies

11:36 am on 11 March 2011

Football's world governing body FIFA is investigating six match officials over possible match-fixing in two friendly internationals in Turkey that produced a total of seven penalties last month.

FIFA, which last week said it would take greater control over friendlies, ordered the investigation into the Latvia-Bolivia and Estonia-Bulgaria matches played in the resort of Antalya on February 9th.

Latvia won 2-1 and the other game ended 2-2, all the goals coming from penalties.

Match-fixing by illegal betting rings has become a major concern for sporting authorities.

The four teams involved complained at the time about the refereeing.

FIFA said last week it would tighten the rules over friendlies, which until now have been a free-for-all with no control from soccer's governing body.

FIFA said it would have to be informed who was refereeing each match and that it would intervene in the future if it saw anything suspicious.