Match-fixing: Armenia suspends whole second tier, bans 45, disqualifies five clubs

July 8 – Football authorities in Armenia have suspended their entire second tier and handed out 45 lifetime bans after one of the biggest match-fixing episodes of recent years in Europe.

The Armenian Football Federation (FFA) has also disqualified five teams after receiving “undeniable evidence” of their involvement.

Club owners, players and coaches are all among those kicked out for their role in manipulation of matches, with local media reporting that many of them had Russian passports. Ukrainian, Latvian and Belarusian footballers were also among those banned.

Lokomotiv Yerevan, level on points with second division leaders FC Van, Aragats, Torpedo Yerevan and Masis were all disqualified from the championship following suspicious results that included 12-0, 0-12, 1-8, 9-2, 0-7, 0-8 and 8-2.

FC Yerevan were also disqualified for match-fixing. But they had already withdrawn from the 2019-20 Premier League in February due to financial and technical problems.

“The decisions were made after the FFA received undeniable evidence from international organizations and law enforcement agencies,” FFA President Armen Melikbekyan (pictured) said in a statement.

“The evidence that we received from our international colleagues will be transferred to the Armenian law enforcement agencies.”

Melikbekyan had vowed to clean up the FFA leadership after his election victory in December – and both FIFA and UEFA had welcomed his appointment.

“Our goal is to eradicate corruption and the system of fixed games in the Armenian football,” he said after the latest debacle.

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