August 3 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has issued another life time ban on a Laos national team player for match fixing.
The AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee banned goalkeeper Thipphonexay Inthavongsa from taking part in any football related activities for life for offences under Article 66.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code – 2018 edition.
Inthavongsa was found guilty of conspiring to manipulate the match between the Hong Kong and Laos national teams on October 5, 2017. He is the third Lao international who played in this match to be banned. Laos lost 4-0 to Hong Kong at Mong Kok Stadium.
In February Khampheng Sayavutthi and Lembo Saysana were also found guilty of match-fixing and banned from taking part in “any football-related activities for life,”
Ranked 188th in the world, Laos has a weak footballing infrastructure but the population are football fanatics though there domestic game and national team have been plagued by match-fixing cases.
In February 2017, the AFC issued life bans from football-related activities to 22 players and officials from Laos and Cambodia, one of the largest single group of suspensions related to one set of match-fixing instances.
The bans result from games played by the Laos national team and club side Lao Toyota FC. Of the 22 individuals banned, 15 are current or former Laos or Lao Toyota FC players. The club were also banned from the 2018 AFC Cup as a result.
In November 2016 during the AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia the AFC Disciplinary Committee stepped in and suspended four Laos players on suspicion of match-fixing. This was the first time that players have been suspended during a tournament for suspicion of match-fixing and an AFC statement said then that investigation “is on-going and not limited to those players provisionally suspended.”
The AFC said in a statement in 2016 that the “investigation into the manipulation of matches involving the representative teams of the Lao Football Federation commenced in 2014 and remains ongoing. The investigation has been supported by Sportradar and the FIFA Integrity Unit.”
The AFC renewed its partnership with Sportradar in January 2020 for another four years.
In its press release the AFC said it will request FIFA to extend Inthavongsa’s ban worldwide.
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