Match-fixing: Life bans for 22 from Laos, Cambodia
Twenty-two players and officials from Laos and Cambodia have been handed life bans in one of Asian football's biggest mass punishments for match-fixing.
The Asian Football Confederation said the action follows an investigation that started in 2014, and that it will seek to have the bans extended worldwide.
"The (AFC) Disciplinary Committee has issued a life ban from football-related activities to 22 individuals from Laos and Cambodia for involvement in the manipulation of matches involving the representative teams of Laos and the club side Lao Toyota FC," said the AFC.
"The AFC investigation into the manipulation of matches involving the representative teams of the Lao Football Federation commenced in 2014 and remains ongoing."
Fifteen of those banned are current or former players of the Laos national side or Vientiane-based Lao Toyota FC, the AFC said.
Details of the games involved were not released, but four of the players had been provisionally banned during the AFC Solidarity Cup involving Laos last November.
Laos played three matches at the Solidarity Cup, beating Sri Lanka 2-1 and Mongolia 3-0, and losing 4-1 to Macau.
Poorly-paid Asian footballers and officials have long been vulnerable to advances from match-fixers seeking to manipulate games for betting purposes, giving rise to a long list of scandals. - AFP