East Timor soccer official gets life ban over fixed matches

A New Zealand soldier plays soccer with Timorese kids Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007 in Dili, the capital of East Timor. Independence hero Xanana Gusmao was sworn in as East Timor's new prime minister on Wednesday, a day after his appointment triggered violence by opposition loyalists in which at least six people were injured. (Binsar Bakkara/AP)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Asian Football Confederation has banned former East Timor technical director Orlando Marques Henriques for any football-related activity for life, after he accepted money to lose a match at the Southeast Asian Games in 2015.

The AFC said Thursday that Orlando was found guilty of agreeing to accept $15,000 from a third party to arrange for seven players from the East Timorese team to lose the match between East Timor and Malaysia on May 30, 2015 during the SEA Games in Singapore.

Orlando was recently released from prison in Singapore after he had previously pleaded guilty to various offences relating to the matter in 2015.

In January, a scam to provide Brazilian players with fake birth certificates to play in World Cup qualifying matches for East Timor led to the country’s expulsion from the 2023 Asian Cup.

At least 12 Brazilians players got "falsified Timorese birth or baptismal certificates" to play for East Timor’s national team in qualifying matches for the 2019 Asian Cup, 2018 World Cup and other competitions, the AFC said.

FIFA worked on the AFC-led investigation, which found seven World Cup qualifiers played between March and October 2015 were corrupted, the Asian governing body said.

In another AFC sanction announced Thursday, Al Wahda’s head coach Javier Aguirre was suspended for three matches for making provocative gestures and spitting in the direction of spectators following his expulsion during the Group D Asian Champions League match between Persepolis of Iran and Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahda on May 8.

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