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Fifa probing officials

PARIS, March 10 – FIFA on Wednesday opened disciplinary proceedings against six referees and match officials amid an investigation into match-fixing in two international friendlies.

World football’s governing body were alerted to unusual betting patterns on two games – Bolivia versus Latvia and Estonia against Bulgaria – which were both held at Antalya, Turkey last month.

FIFA said in a statement: "FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against six match officials in relation to the international A friendly matches Bolivia v Latvia and Estonia v Bulgaria played in Antalya (Turkey) on 9 February 2011.

"The proceedings were opened following an evaluation of all documentation and information received by FIFA, in relation to a possible match-fixing situation in these matches.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will be in charge to deal with the matter."

Both matches were organised by a Thai company that holds rights to organise matches and they were refereed by three Hungarians who do not feature on the official list of FIFA’s international referees.

Estonia drew 2-2 against Bulgaria and Bolivia beat Latvia 2-1. All seven goals were scored through penalties, which lead to suspicions of match-fixing.

FIFA have demanded a detailed report on the matches from both the Bulgarian and Estonian football federations.

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