July 31 (Reuters) - Asia's soccer governing body has extended the domestic ban for nine Vietnamese players to conference level for their role in a match-fixing scandal following a request from the country's association.
The Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) had provisionally banned the Vissai Ninh Binh players in May from taking part in any kind of soccer-related activities after they reportedly admitted to taking money to fix an AFC Cup match.
Ninh Binh was withdrawn from the Vietnam top flight amid fears domestic games could also have been fixed while the police opened criminal proceedings against the players for violating the country's gambling laws.
The extension of the ban to regional tournaments shall be for six months from May pending a final verdict by the VFF, the AFC said in a statement on Thursday. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)