CAS confirms life ban for Ukrainian referee

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - A life ban imposed on Ukrainian referee Oleg Oriekhov by UEFA after he failed to disclose he was offered 50,000 euros to manipulate a Europa League match was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday.

Oriekhov, who took charge of the Group E tie between Basel and CSKA Sofia on November 5 2009 which the Swiss side won 3-1, was banned after a wider investigation into match-fixing by the public prosecutor of Bochum.

"The CAS Panel confirmed the UEFA decision and concluded that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that there were repeated contacts between Oleg Oriekhov and the members of a criminal group involved in match-fixing and betting fraud," CAS said in a statement.

"It has been convincingly established that Oleg Oriekhov had been contacted before and after the match in Basel by persons who offered him money to manipulate the results of the match.

"The CAS Panel considered that Oleg Oriekhov deliberately violated the principles of conduct provided by the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations as he did not inform UEFA immediately of the existence of such contacts."

CAS rejected Oriekhov's appeal and his argument that he did not report the contact because his English was inadequate.

"The CAS Panel concluded, that, in such circumstances, a life ban from any football-related activity was a proportionate sanction."

CAS said it could not establish if the Basel v CSKA tie was effectively manipulated by match-fixers.