Three Lebanese referees pleaded guilty to accepting sexual favors in exchange for fixing an April 3rd match between Singapore’s Tampines Rovers and India club East Bengal.
The three referees were pulled before the match began, and have been held in jail since April 4th.
The District court judge jailed assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb for three months and deferred sentencing for head referee Ali Sabbagh.
From Channel News Asia:
Deputy public prosecutor Asoka Markandu described Ali Sabbagh as “the most culpable” among the three as he was the one approached by the syndicate and the one who persuaded the two linesmen to accept the sexual bribe.
The judge lashed out at the FIFA-accredited referees for bringing disrepute to the sport, saying they were probably the first international football match officials to be charged with corruption in Singapore.
“That alone, the fact that you are international officials, in my view, is already an aggravating factor,” he said.
“The Singapore public has an interest in preserving football as a professional sport in Singapore. This is because it has social, recreational and economic value,” he added.
Head referee Ali Sabbagh will have his sentence carried out on June 11th.