Families deny Lebanese footballers involved in match-fixing

Published: Updated:

The families of two Lebanese footballers denied allegations the players were involved in illegal betting on various games.

Indonesian-based forward Mahmoud al-Ali and Malaysian-based defender Ramez Dayoub were in February 2013 accused and each fined $15,000 by the Asian Football Confederation of match-fixing. Both footballers have been banned from ever playing the game.

“If Mahmoud has properties and I don’t know what else, we’ll leave. We’ll go live in Beirut or in Jounieh. What would be the problem if there is all this money? Why would we sit in danger?” Ali’s father – a coffee vendor – told Al Arabiya.

His mother said that Ali does not even own a house, adding her son, his wife and five children live with her in an area in northern Lebanon, where clashes between rival neighborhoods erupt regularly.

Meanwhile, Dayoub’s mother said she was in shock over the recent verdict against her son.

“It was a shock for all of us. Ramez does not have [bad] morals at all. If Ramez’s style was like that, his family would have been the first to notice it. I am his mother, one of the closest people to him, I would have felt something,” Dayoub’s mother told Al Arabiya. “It is a shame to destroy his future. It was a very oppressing decision [to ban him from playing],”

“If my son had in fact done what they are saying he did… I will be the first one to call for him to be punished.”

Both players have decided to appeal the decision in the hopes of proving their innocence and of being allowed to play again.