Amidst the global crackdown on match fixing, investigators have had to follow the money trail that is corrupting football. But now, they turn their focus to a different kind of booty as three Lebanese refs have been charged with receiving sexual favors to fix an Asian Football Confederation Cup match in Singapore.
Referee Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were hastily replaced by officials from Thailand and Malaysia for Tampines Rovers' 4-2 defeat by East Bengal of India on Wednesday.
The Lebanese trio were taken to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) instead and appeared in a Singapore court on Thursday.
"Ali Sabbagh, Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were produced in court, each with a charge of one count of corruptly receiving gratification, in the form of free sexual service," the CPIB said in a statement.
With this alternate threat has been identified, it's time FIFA shows its commitment to fighting for the honor of the game. The only way to truly eliminate this menace is to have Sepp Blatter go undercover and pose as a pre-paid prostitute in an attempt to weed out the match officials susceptible to this kind of bribery. Think about that scenario for a while. In detail.