Football referee sentenced to jail for match-fixing

Ali Sabbagh, a Lebanese football referee who fixed matches for free sexual services, was sentenced to six months in jail for corruption in Singapore. Sabbagh’s co-accused assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were each sentenced to three months.

Europol and police authorities investigated attempts to fix more than 380 games, including FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship qualifiers. Singaporean businessman Ding Si Yang allegedly provided the men with women in exchange to fix matches.

Lawyer Gary Low, who represents all three men, said they are willing to testify against Ding. Sabbagh was told by Ding he could make more money in a year by fixing matches than as a referee in 10 years, the prosecutor said.

The corruption charges, filed after Europol’s report, carry a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of as much as S$100,000 (US$80,000).