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3 soccer officials charged with corruption

SINGAPORE (AP) - A referee and his two assistants were charged with corruption in Singapore for accepting ``free sexual service'' in return for fixing an Asian Football Confederation Cup match.

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Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said referee Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb, all from Lebanon, were charged with one count of corruption.

The 33-year-old Sabbagh is a FIFA-accredited referee who has worked some 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

The three are scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The anti-corruption agency said it launched an investigation after receiving information of match-fixing involving a game between Singapore club Tampines Rovers and East Bengal of India on Wednesday. East Bengal won 4-2.

An 18-month review by Europol recently revealed that a Singapore-based crime syndicate has been involved in fixing soccer matches around the world, including World Cup qualifiers and Champions League matches.

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