A trio of Lebanese referees have been charged with accepting sexual bribes to fix an AFC Cup match in Singapore.
Referee Ali Sabbagh and his assistants Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were replaced shortly before Tampines Rovers’ match against East Bengal on Wednesday after Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) claimed they had received sexual favours as part of a match-fixing plan.
The Asian Football Confederation organised officials from Thailand and Malaysia to referee the match in Clementi, Singapore, which East Bengal won 4-2, while Sabbagh, Eid and Taleb fronted a Singapore court on Thursday.
“Ali Sabbagh, Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were produced in court, each with a charge of one count of corruptly receiving gratification, in the form of free sexual service,” a statement from the CPIB read.
“Singapore has always adopted a zero tolerance approach towards corruption and match-fixing of any form is not condoned in Singapore.
“The Bureau works closely with the Football Association of Singapore and the authorities to keep the local soccer scene clean.”