Vietnamese prosecutors forge ahead in match-fixing probe

HANOI - Prosecutors in Vietnam have issued their indictments in two major football match-fixing scandals, both likely to come to court early next year, a justice official and state media said yesterday.

HANOI - Prosecutors in Vietnam have issued their indictments in two major football match-fixing scandals, both likely to come to court early next year, a justice official and state media said yesterday.

Two trials have been recommended for a total of 22 people in cases that have badly shaken the sport in the communist nation.

"We sent the files to the court," said an official at the People's Supreme Procuracy in Hanoi. "Courts in Vietnam have a maximum of 30 days before taking a decision on a case."

The first case, the biggest to hit Vietnamese football, concerns a match-fixing scandal involving eight players in the national under-23 team.

They are accused of taking bribes from a betting syndicate to fix the scores of a game against Myanmar during the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines last year.

They will be tried for "gambling and organising gambling", the Lao Dong newspaper said.

In the second case, 14 people, including some referees and coaches, are accused of bribery during the 2004-2005 professional V-League championship.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) could not confirm the indictments but welcomed any development. - Sapa-AFP

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