Singaporean businessman Eric Ding Si Yang (L) arrives with his lawyer (R) at the State courts for his sentencing in Singapore on July 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Fyrol Mohd
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A Singaporean businessman was jailed for three years Thursday for providing prostitutes to three Lebanese football referees in a match-fixing attempt that has put the spotlight on the city-state's role in global sports corruption.Ding was found guilty July 1 of corruption for bribing referee Ali Sabbagh, 35 and assistant referees Ali Eid, 34, and Abdallah Taleb, 38, before a match last year in Singapore.District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said as he handed down the jail sentence that Singapore's reputation had been tarnished by match-fixing.They also referred to a report by European police agency Europol in February last year identifying Singapore as the base of a trans-national syndicate fixing matches with bribes of up to 100,000 euros ($135,000) per match.When he convicted Ding July 1, the judge dismissed as "far-fetched" the businessman's argument that he was not a match-fixer but a freelance journalist with a local tabloid who had an "interest in writing about match-fixing".
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