SINGAPORE, 3 April 2013 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) was informed this morning that three match officials assigned to officiate the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup match between Tampines Rovers and East Bengal are currently assisting the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in their investigations. The match officials in question – referee Mr Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Mr Ali Eid and Mr Abdallah Taleb – were brought to CPIB earlier this morning.
Upon receipt of the information from CPIB, FAS alerted the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) immediately. Replacement match officials were appointed immediately and sent to Singapore without incident.
Singapore and FAS have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to match-fixing and football corruption which includes the imposition of permanent suspension from all football activities on any player or official convicted in a court of law for football corruption offences. We take a serious view of allegations pertaining to match-fixing and football corruption activities and the authorities and FAS will spare no effort in minimising the possibility of such activities taking place within the local football scene.
The FAS is pleased to note that several organizations, including the AFC and Interpol, have commended us for our commitment and efficiency in fighting match fixing, which has become a global scourge. Going forward, we will continue to participate in ongoing international efforts to combat this problem, from and within the game.