Vietnam court finds 10 guilty of rigging AFC Cup match
Hanoi: A Vietnam court found nine soccer players and a bookmaker guilty of match-fixing on Monday after they colluded to throw an AFC Cup game in Malaysia in return for a $40,000 bribe, state media reported.
The court jailed bookmaker Dao Duc Loi and former national team player Tran Manh each for 30 months, but gave suspended sentences to eight others from Vissai Ninh Binh who rigged the away match against Malaysia`s Kelantan in March.
The sentences were lenient for Vietnam, a country known for harsh penalties for criminals and notorious for illicit gambling and match-fixing.
Gambling remains strictly illegal in Vietnam and police estimate tens of millions of dollars were placed in bets each day during the recent World Cup finals in Brazil.
The scandal was one of many in Vietnam in recent years and led to Vissai Ninh Binh`s withdrawal from the top flight amid fears domestic games could also have been fixed.
Despite being disgraced at home, the team was allowed to stay on in Asia`s second tier continental competition.
The fixing of the AFC Cup game was one of the highest-profile cases for Vietnam since 2005, when several national team players were found complicit in the throwing of a Southeast Asian Games match against Myanmar.
Six national team players were spared jail but two former teammates who acted as go-betweens received prison terms of three and six years.