Soccer-AFC extends bans on Vietnamese players to confederation level

May 22 (Reuters) - Nine Vietnamese players have had the scope of their lifetime bans for match-fixing widened to include all soccer related activities at the confederation level, the Asian Football Confederation has said. Vietnam's federation (VFF) banned the players from Vissai Ninh Binh in December after a court jailed their former international Tran Manh for 30 months and dished out suspended sentences to eight other players found guilty of colluding with a bookmaker to throw a second tier regional AFC Cup game. The AFC said on its official website on Friday that its disciplinary committee had now "extended the permanent ban to take effect at confederation level. "This means the nine players are banned from all football activities in all AFC Member Associations." The scandal was one of many in recent years in a country notorious for illicit gambling and with one of the world's worst track records for match-fixing with players easy targets for betting syndicates. (Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)