FIFA can today confirm the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on eight players by the Estonian Football Association and one player by the Lebanese Football Association relating to match-manipulation and fraud investigations.
The eight Estonian players each received a one-year ban from all football-related activities while the Lebanese player was banned from all football-related activities for life.
The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee extended the sanctions to have worldwide effect on 6 May 2013, in accordance with article 78 paragraph 1(c) and article 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
The Estonian FA has been cooperating with national judicial authorities after the State Prosecutor Office opened fraud investigations in 2011 against the eight players for allegedly receiving money from a bookmaker in connection with a number of matches of the Estonian top league, the Meistriliiga, and the Estonian Cup.
Following the criminal investigation of the State Prosecutor Office, the Estonian FA disciplinary board opened its own proceedings and decided on 1 March 2013 to impose on each player a one-year ban from all football-related activities in Estonia. The Estonian FA has specified that the bans are temporary at this stage, as more evidence and information is currently being gathered.
The lifetime ban imposed on the Lebanese player follows investigations by the Lebanese FA-appointed investigation committee beginning in January that related to actions of betting and corruption committed by some Lebanese officials and players during certain official matches of the Lebanese national team and other matches of the AFC Cup.
Last month, FIFA confirmed the extension of sanctions imposed on the other 23 players and one official involved in the same investigation, with bans ranging in length from one football season to a lifetime. In this most recent case, further information was required from the Lebanese FA before a decision could be made by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
FIFA continues to work closely with member associations and INTERPOL to combat the issue of match manipulation. Initiatives include the signing of an integrity declaration by officials, the monitoring of the betting market via its subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) and the setting up of an e-learning ethics tool, integrity hotline and e-mail address and a confidential reporting system.