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FIFA extends life bans on 41 players

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ZURICH (AP)

FIFA has extended the match-fixing sanctions on 41 players in South Korea to worldwide life bans.

The scandal goes back to 2011 when more than 50 players and coaches in the K-League were indicted for accepting money to fix matches. Forty-one players received life bans from the K-League and the Korea Football Association.

A FIFA spokesman told CNN: "The K-League first issued the sanctions, which were then extended by the KFA in summer of 2011 to have national scope, and then subsequently FIFA extended them to have worldwide effect.

"FIFA announced 10 sanctions in June 2012 having received the case files from the KFA, and a further 41 Tuesday. There could still be further cases to follow, but we're not in a position at the moment to make any guess on numbers.

"Of the 51 cases, only one was for betting, whereas all the others were either for giving, or accepting bribes to fix matches.

"Of these 51 cases, 15 went to an appeal and an additional three persons (two players and one coach) committed suicide during the course of the investigations. Some of the 51 people involved have also been the subject of criminal proceedings in Korea, including jail sentences."

FIFA said Wednesday that its disciplinary committee extended the sanctions to have worldwide effect.

FIFA's website explained: "These services include the provision of coaching classes for local football clubs for youth and adult players; involvement in and support of football for those with disabilities; and the support of ongoing and future domestic anti-match-fixing activities.

"Players who are subject to voluntary probation may produce monthly reports on their respective community service activities, accompanied by documentary evidence of their activity (written, photographic or video).

"The reinstatement of the respective player in football after the probation period will only be decided by the Korea Football Association (KFA)."

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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