Four referees sentenced to jail for bribery

HANOI - A Vietnamese court has sentenced four soccer referees, three of them Fifa-accredited, to between four and seven years in jail for bribery and match-fixing.

HANOI - A Vietnamese court has sentenced four soccer referees, three of them Fifa-accredited, to between four and seven years in jail for bribery and match-fixing.

Vietnam has vowed to stamp out match-fixing in the country's most popular sport after a series of high-profile scandals that led to the arrest of dozens of players and referees.

The four sentenced and five others - including three referees - went on trial in Hanoi last week.

V-League referee Luong Trung Viet was sentenced to seven years in jail for "broking for bribery" even though prosecutors had sought a term of up to 12 years for him, the online VNExpress (vnexpress.net) newspaper said yesterday.

Viet received about 110 million dong (about R47 600) from Dong A Bank-Pomina Steel club in 2004 and later gave 99 million dong of the money to other referees.

Fifa-accredited referees Pham Huu Loc and Truong The Toan were sentenced to four years in jail, while a nationally ranked referee got four years in prison, VNExpress said, citing the Hanoi people's court verdict.

A third Fifa-accredited referee, Le Van Tu, was handed a two-year suspended sentence for taking bribes. - Reuters

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