Nepal captain, players arrested over match fixing

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) Police in Nepal have arrested the captain of the national football team and other team members on charges relating to match-fixing, officials said Thursday.

Police official Sarbendra Khanal said the Nepal team captain Sagar Thapa and four other players are accused of taking money from bookmakers in Malaysia and Singapore to lose matches.

Khanal said the five men were arrested on Wednesday and are in custody. While charges are still to be finalized, Khanal said prosecutors would seek a severe punishment because it was a crime against the state.

Other players arrested included Sandip Rai, Anjan K.C., goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and Bikash Singh.

Khanal said the alleged match-fixing dates from 2009 and included matches played against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Police said they monitored the players for weeks after they received information about their involvement in match-fixing and contacts with international bookmakers. Police have seized their financial records and bank statements as evidence.