The Swiss Football Association (ASF) have handed substantial bans to nine Swiss Football League players for their respective parts in a match-fixing scandal that is sweeping across Europe.
Five professional players from Swiss second-tier clubs Thun, Gossau and Slavonija Bern were given open-ended suspensions that will last at least three years – thus effectively ending their football careers.
A further Thun player was banned for three years; two more players from Thun and Fribourg got two-year bans; and one player who played for both Wil 1900 and Vaduz last season was sanctioned with a one-year ban.
Two of the nine guilty parties had recruited other players to fix matches on their behalf, and the remainder had accepted large amounts of money or agreed to help directly influence the outcome of games.
The ASF confirmed yesterday that it was to be the first domestic football federation to sanction players, using information from a Europe-wide probe into match fixing and illegal spread betting launched by German police last year.
The German report showed that as many as 22 matches in Switzerland’s second-tier may have been fixed last season, along with 15 Champions League and Europa League games, 29 matches in the top-flight of Turkish football as well as a qualifying fixture for the European Under-21 Championships.