Laotian footballer banned for life for match-fixing

KUALA LUMPUR: A footballer for the Laos national team has been given a life ban for match-fixing, the sport’s governing body in Asia said Thursday, the third player from the side struck off in recent months.

Thipphonexay Inthavongsa was found guilty of “conspiring to manipulate” the results of an October 2017 friendly between Hong Kong and Laos.

A disciplinary panel for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) banned Inthavongsa from taking part in any “football-related activities for life”, the body said in a statement.

It did not reveal details of the offence but said the Lao Football Federation had been informed of the decision and the AFC would request Fifa extend the ban worldwide.

Match-fixing has proved a problem in Laos before. In February national team players Khampheng Sayavutthi and Lembo Saysana were found guilty of the same offence in the same 2017 game and were also hit with lifetime bans.

Lao Toyota FC were in 2018 barred from the AFC Cup for “arranging and influencing” the outcome of matches in the 2015 and 2016 tournaments.

Ranked 188th out of 210 countries in the FIFA world rankings, impoverished Laos has limited football infrastructure with little money for sports investment.