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Five arrested over Hong Kong 'match-fixing'

6 May 10 14:50 GMT

Five football players have been arrested in Hong Kong over allegations of match-fixing.

The players were asked by a gambling syndicates to bribe another team, the territory's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) alleged.

The match was not named but was widely reported to have been between Fourway Rangers and Happy Valley last October.

One of the players, Yu Yang, has been charged with attempted bribery while the others are to be released on bail.

Members of the Fourway Rangers team were allegedly offered bribes by the accused but refused to take them and referred the issue to the ICAC, the South China Morning Post reported.

Fourway Rangers eventually won the match 2-0.

The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) would not comment on the allegations, but said corruption in the game was an "intolerable, unacceptable and unappeasable offence".

The case comes as the head of the China Football Association, Nan Yong, and other senior figures are due to stand trial over corruption allegations.

Mr Nan and some 20 others were implicated in an alleged attempt by the Chengdu Blades to bribe another team to throw a crucial match.

Chengdu were relegated from the country's Super League in February along with another team, Guangzhou GPC, who were also accused of game-rigging.

Football is immensely popular in Hong Kong and mainland China and some gamblers bet huge amounts on the outcome of matches.

China's leaders have expressed concern over corruption in the game.

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