FIFA investigates exhibition game in UAE

FIFA investigates exhibition game in UAE

Published May. 26, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

FIFA says it broke up a scheme to rig a soccer game in the United Arab Emirates that it believes is part of a wider match-fixing scandal stretching from Finland to the Far East.

Tipped off on alleged plans to manipulate a March 26 exhibition between Jordan and Kuwait, FIFA sent investigators to the stadium in Sharjah, the emirate just north of Dubai.

FIFA says the game bore all the hallmarks of suspicious matches in Turkey and elsewhere - local referees were replaced by foreigners and the match ended in a 1-1 draw with both goals coming from penalties.

According to FIFA's early warning system of betting monitoring, online gambling sites were abuzz with action from the match. That prompted FIFA investigators to reveal their presence to organizers at halftime.