UEFA ban officials over match-fixing

A referee and his assistant have been banned for life for attempting to fix a UEFA Europa League match.

Andranik Arsenyan and assistant Hovhannes Avagyan have been given lifetime bans by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body following attempts to manipulate the outcome of the match on July 11 between Inter Turku and Vikingur.  

According to UEFA, the pair admitted their attempts to affect the result of the first qualifying round second-leg match, which finished 1-0 to Vikingur, during a hearing at the Football Federation of Armenia. 

An initial investigation had been sparked after the governing body's betting fraud detection system uncovered "suspicious betting patterns" around the fixture.

The decision follows the banning of Ukranian outfit Metalist Kharkiv from all UEFA competitions after a match-fixing inquiry.

A statement from UEFA confirmed: "Referee Andranik Arsenyan and assistant Hovhannes Avagyan, who officiated at a UEFA Europa League match last month between FC Inter Turku and Vikingur, have been suspended for life by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body (CDB) for their attempt to manipulate the outcome of this game.

"In a hearing at the FFA, referee Arsenyan and assistant referee Avagyan admitted having tried to manipulate the outcome of the second-leg fixture, which ended 1-0 in favour of Vikingur.

"The UEFA betting fraud detection system (BFDS) – which monitors over 32,000 matches across Europe, including all first and second division games, cup ties and UEFA competition fixtures – had detected suspicious betting patterns around this encounter, and this prompted the start of an investigation by UEFA, to which the FFA contributed closely.

"UEFA is pleased with the excellent cooperation of the FFA, the local authorities and the betting operators during the investigation process."