S'porean convicted in sex-for-match-fixing case

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Singaporean businessman Eric Ding Si Yang, 32, was found guilty of corruption on Tuesday (July 1) after a judge ruled that he offered three Lebanese referees free services of prostitutes in return for rigging future matches. 

Ding could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $300,000 for bribing referee Ali Sabbagh, 35 and assistant referees Ali Eid, 34, and Abdallah Taleb, 38.

He will be sentenced on July 22, AFP reported.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said in a written judgement the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Ding offered the Lebanese trio free sexual services to “induce the three of them to agree to getting involved in match-fixing”. 

“The ultimate objective was to get the match officials to make decisions on the pitch that were incorrect in order to benefit the match-fixers,” Judge Toh said.

The three Lebanese were arrested in the early hours of April 3 last year for accepting sexual favours in exchange for agreeing to fix an unspecified football match.

Pleaded guilty

They had been scheduled to officiate at an Asian Football Confederation Cup match between Singapore-based club Tampines Rovers and India’s East Bengal but were pulled out after their detention.

All three subsequently pleaded guilty.

Sabbagh was jailed for six months while Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb served three-month sentences. 

Ding, who had refused to testify during the trial, is out on bail.

Source: AFP