Nine foreign footballers involved in a match-fixing scandal in the Finnish league have been handed down suspended prison terms.
Wilson Raj Perumal, the Singaporean at the heart of the scheme, was also sentenced to two years in jail after the court found him guilty of pocketing USD 210,000 (EUR 147,203) for rigged games dating from 2008. Rovaniemi teammates, Nchimunya Mweetwa, Christopher Musonda, Stephen Kunda, Chanda Mwaba, Francis Kombe, Chileshe Chibwe and Godfrey Chibanga – all from Zambia – were sentenced by the court on Tuesday 19th July, along with two Georgian players, also from the team.
Although they are now free to leave Finland, they may face further ramifications from FIFA, and the futures of their football careers remain in jeopardy. All nine players were found to have accepted bribes of up to USD 57,000 (EUR 40,000) to affect match results. The scam focussed on the local team in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, where 24 matches are thought to have been fixed.
Perumal was found to have been involved in influencing at least seven of these games, as well as several international matches with Asian and African teams and two other Finnish league ties involving Mariehamn and Oulu. He was arrested and charged with illegal border crossing, forgery and bribery after entering Finland in February under a fake passport.