ZURICH - Six match officials have been
banned for life over match-fixing in two friendly internationals
last February that produced a total of seven penalties, FIFA
The officials, three from Bosnia and three from Hungary,
were involved in the Latvia-Bolivia and Bulgaria-Estonia matches
played in the Turkish resort of Antalya on February 9.
Latvia won 2-1 and the other game ended 2-2, all the goals
coming from penalties including one in the first match which was
FIFA named the banned match officials as Sinisa Zrnic, Kenan
Bajramovic and Rizah Ridalovic of Bosnia and Kolos Lengyel,
Janos Csak and Krisztian Selmeczi of Hungary.
"The officials were found guilty of breaching article 62
paragraph 2 [passive corruption] and article 69 paragraph 1 [unlawfully influencing match results] of the FIFA disciplinary
code," said football's governing body in a statement.
The Hungarian football federation had already banned their
country's trio for their handling of the Bulgaria-Estonia game.
Hungarian referees' chief Laszlo Wagner said at the time:
"I'm shocked because we didn't receive a letter to allow these
referees to officiate at this game."
The four teams involved complained at the time about the
refereeing, Bolivia coach Gustavo Quinteros saying that all
three penalties were "invented" and describing the refereeing as
Following the matches, FIFA tightened the rules over
friendlies, which until then have been a free-for-all with no
control from football'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
Both FIFA and European football's governing body UEFA are
alarmed about match-fixing which they say is organised by
illegal gambling rings.
Turkey, Greece and Italy have all been hit by match-fixing
scandals in the last few weeks and FIFA has said it will
investigate Nigeria's 4-1 friendly win over Argentina in June
which featured two controversial penalties, one for each side.
FIFA and UEFA have said that match-fixers prefer to target
low-profile matches which are not televised and receive little
has been banned from all football-related activity for one year by
FIFA for taking his case to a civil court over CONCACAF's
decision to oust him as acting president.
The Barbadian was in charge of the North, Central and
Caribbean football confederation for four days following the
suspension of its long-standing president Jack Warner in May
over corruption allegations.
FIFA said on Wednesday that Austin had been banned by its
disciplinary committee "for lodging a claim related to football
matters in front of the ordinary courts in the Bahamas,
constituting a breach of... the FIFA statutes."
Football's world governing body added that Austin must
withdraw his case before he can be reinstated.
"Should Lisle Austin not withdraw the claim lodged in front
of the ordinary courts in the Bahamas definitively and
irrevocably, he will remain banned from taking part in any kind
of football-related activity at national and international
level... for as long as the legal proceedings in ordinary courts
are pursued," said a FIFA statement.
Warner, who also sat on the FIFA Executive Committee, was
suspended after allegations of bribery and pending further
investigations by the world governing body's ethics committee.
Warner later resigned, the investigation against him was
dropped and he was presumed innocent.
Austin, who as CONCACAF's most senior vice-president had
replaced Warner, was in charge for just four days during which
he tried to fire general secretary Chuck Blazer.
Austin also announced that he was conducting a 'forensic
audit' of the regional body's accounts over the past five years.
The Barbadian said he had tried to revoke Blazer's signing
authority over the bank accounts of CONCACAF.
He was sacked by CONCACAF's executive committee but
maintained he was the victim of a power grab and said he had won
a court order in the Bahamas allowing him to return to office.
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