The life time football ban imposed upon player Dominique Taboga by the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) in February for match-fixing has been extended by FIFA today to include worldwide activities.
Austrian former top league player Taboga was sanctioned by ÖFB following allegations he had been involved in match manipulation. Taboga used to play for Salzburg based SV Grödig before they sacked him in November after he admitted he had approached four other players to fix a match in the previous season. The 31-year-old football player had been playing professional football for over ten years before he was dropped from the club.
The case first hit the headlines when Taboga initially told the club that he had been forced to make a video confessing to match fixing, then blackmailed for over 87,000 EUR and held at gunpoint by a gang because he had refused to be an accomplice to a match fix. This led to the arrest of the alleged blackmailers, one of whom was the now charged Kuljic, a former top division Bundesliga player who had played alongside Taboga in 2012 until he retired.
It later emerged, however, that Taboga had lied about how much he had already paid the blackmailers, which was 60,000 EUR less than he had previously told police. He also retracted his statement about being held at gunpoint, fuelling confusion over Taboga’s true role in the scandal.
His colleague Thomas Zündel was also alleged to be involved in the fixing scandal, but was only given a 12 month ban, which FIFA have also confirmed and extended today.
FIFA have also confirmed the sanctions placed by the IR Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) on players in relation to match manipulation.
The global football association say that the moves today are part of its broader efforts to combat match manipulation and protect the integrity of football, including a ten-year programme with INTERPOL and holding regional workshops all over the world.