- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

BERLIN (AP) - The German league and the country's national soccer federation have welcomed tougher sanctions for individuals convicted of betting fraud and game manipulation.

The parliament passed a bill to close a loophole that hampered the fraud prosecutions for sports betting, with the law expected to enter into force this month.

League president Reinhard Rauball says “the law is an essential building block for the integrity of sport.”

Athletes, coaches and referees will be subjected to up to three years in prison for betting misdemeanors, with a five-year imprisonment possible for particularly serious infringements.

Federation president Reinhard Grindel says the “manipulation of games, along with doping, is one of the biggest threats for the ethical and moral values in sport” and the new law is “the only way to confront” it.

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