Lebanese Soccer Referees Accepted Sex Bribes in Exchange for Match Fixing

Soccer referees

Three Lebanese soccer referees pleaded guilty to accepting sex bribes from a global crime syndicate believed to have been responsible for fixing hundreds of soccer matches around the world.

A Singapore court sentenced assistant soccer referees Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, to jail for three months and deferred sentencing for the third referee. 3 months for sex bribes,11 years for Tweets and beheading for food scavenging? Seems a little disproportionate – but lesson learned: commit your crimes in Singapore, not Kuwait, and especially not Afghanistan.

Back to the soccer referees: the trio was arrested and charged on April 4 with corruption for accepting sexual favours from prostitutes in exchange for agreeing to fix an Asian Football Confederation Cup match. Singaporean businessman Eric Ding Si Yang arranged the transaction and was charged with corruption in May. He has denied the charges and is out on bail awaiting trial. The three referees however were denied bail and have been detained at Singapore’s Changi prison since April 4.

When the two assistant referees were handed down their sentence on Monday they broke down into sobs of joy upon realizing that due to good behaviour and time already served, they could be freed by later Monday or Tuesday.

The judge needed a little more time to think about the third referee as he was “the most culpable” among the three. Ali Sabbagh was the one originally approached by the syndicate and also the one who persuaded the two others to accept the sexual bribe.

Singapore is known for many things: lack of chewing gum, dengue fever, and also as being a base for a global match fixing crime ring. But now Singapore is sick of its soccer corruption reputation and is attempting to crackdown on its match-fixing ways, one Lebanese referee at a time.

Via: The Wall Street Journal

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