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FIFA extends global life bans to 3 Guatemala national team players for match-fixing

10/24/2012 11:07 EDT | Updated 12/24/2012 05:12 EST
ZURICH - Two of Guatemala's most celebrated players have been banned from world football for life by FIFA for helping fix international friendlies and a CONCACAF Champions League match.

Guillermo Ramirez and Gustavo Cabrera both played 100 times for Guatemala, including in 2014 World Cup qualifiers, and had captained the team.

FIFA said Wednesday that Ramirez, Cabrera and a third national team player, Yoni Flores, are "banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity, for life."

The players were involved in fixing Guatemala's 2-0 home defeat against Venezuela in June 2011 and a 3-2 loss in Costa Rica in May 2012.

FIFA said the charges also included a CONCACAF Champions League group-stage match between Guatemalan club CSD Municipal and Santos Laguna of Mexico on Oct. 19, 2010. Santos won 6-1.

FIFA has extended the bans globally after they were imposed nationally last month by the Guatemala Football Association.

Ramirez is a 34-year-old midfielder, Cabrera is a 32-year-old defender and Flores is a 29-year-old defender.

FIFA did not detail how the players were involved in fixing matches.

Earlier in the investigation, FIFA also studied a fourth suspicious match — Guatemala's 5-0 defeat against 2010 World Cup host South Africa in a friendly played in Polokwane two weeks before the tournament kicked off.

That match was refereed by Niger official Ibrahim Chaibou who has been linked with several match-fixing probes in which goals were scored from penalties for dubious handball offences. FIFA investigators have been unable to meet Chaibou for questioning.

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