The Asian Football Confederation are to investigate a report of match-fixing in Lebanon after 24 players were handed down suspensions ranging from three seasons to life.
Among those to be sanctioned by the Lebanese Football Association were national team players Mahmoud al-Ali and Ramez Dayoub who have been banned for life.
The games under suspicion are international fixtures, AFC Cup matches and regional games.
For General Secretary of Lebanese Football Association Jihad Al-Chahaf the rigging of matches is a new phenomenon in the country.
He said: “The summary of this subject is the involvement of 24 players, most of them betting on and fixing games which is new in Lebanon, at least to Lebanese football and its mentality.”
It’s a potentially damaging blow to Lebanon who are in the running to qualify for the 2014 world cup but any punishment from the AFC or FIFA could see their hopes ruined.