- Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - A court in northern Vietnam has sentenced a professional footballer to 30 months in jail and given eight other players suspended sentences on charges of match fixing, state media reported Monday.

Online newspaper VnExpress said players from the Vissai Ninh Binh club were convicted of conspiring to fix the result of an Asian Football Confederation Cup match against Malaysian club Kelantan in March after placing bets with a bookmaker, who was also facing trial.

The People’s Court in Ninh Binh province sentenced Tran Manh Dung to 30 months in jail for gambling. Eight others were given suspended sentence ranging from 24 to 27 months and fined after a half-day trial, the VnExpress reported.

Bookmaker Dao Duc Loi received 30 months in jail for “organizing gambling” and fined $1,000, the newspaper said.

Vissai Ninh Binh has withdrawn from the top-flight V-League but continues to play in the AFC Cup, where it lost 4-2 at home to Hong Kong’s Kitchee last week in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal return leg will be played in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Police across Asia are struggling to combat match-fixing, which has long been prevalent in the region.

In 2005, a group Vietnamese national team players were convicted of fixing an international match.

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