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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

AFC bans 22 Laos and Cambodian players for 'manipulation of matches'

From 1977-1980, Banerjee did not concede a single goal against East Bengal.
The AFC has handed out life bans to 22 Laos and Cambodia players.

Southeast Asian football has been rocked by life bans for 22 players from Laos and Cambodia for match-fixing.

The Asian Football Confederation announced the suspensions on Wednesday after investigating matches of the Laos national team, and club side Lao Toyota FC.

Of the 22, 15 are current or former Lao Toyota players. The Vientiane-based team were Lao champions in 2015, and have played in the last two editions of the AFC Cup.

Four of the players -- Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya, Chintana Souksavath,...

 By Paul Murphy

Laos champions pull out of AFC Cup as Home United prepare for playoff

Laos champions Lanexang United have withdrawn from the 2017 AFC Cup group expected to feature Singapore's Home United.

They've also pulled out of the 2017 Laos Premier League, as football in the country goes into apparent meltdown.

Eight teams had already withdrawn from the domestic competition, and a statement on the Lanexang Facebook page states that this situation "renders the commercial viability of football in Laos as untenable".

The collapse of the domestic league has seen the club's sponsors...

 By Paul Murphy

Buriram United come from behind to win Mekong Club Championship

Jason Dasey and Stanely Bernard discuss Thailand's future after winning their record fifth AFF Cup.

Buriram United striker Diogo Luis Santo put in a match-winning performance as the Thai side beat Laos champions Lanexang United 2-0 to claim the Toyota Mekong Club Championship 2-1 on aggregate.

In the second leg of the final in Thailand on Sunday night, the Brazilian tormented his opponents throughout. He won and scored a first-half penalty before Go Seul-ki added a second early in the second half.

Diogo then drew the foul that saw Lanexang skipper Soukaphone Vongchiengkham sent off late in the...

 By Jason Dasey

Ex-Benfica junior Patafta now Lanexang United GM, targets A-League

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey catches up with former Australian footballer and current Lanexang United general manager Kaz Patafta.

In a crisp white shirt, with black suit and tie, the baby-faced general manager had a familiar look about him as he mingled with other Asian football bosses at last week's AFC draws at the Petaling Jaya Hilton.

At the age of just 28, Kaz Patafta might well have expected to be wearing yellow as part of Australia's ongoing 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying campaign. His former national junior teammates Robbie Kruse, Matt Spiranovic and Nathan Burns, also born in 1988, are key members of the current squad.

Instead,...

 By Nicolas Anil

AFF to monitor 550 betting operators in fight for clean 2016 Suzuki Cup

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey talks to Malaysia internationals, past and present, to get their predictions on who will win the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Dato' Sri Azzuddin Ahmad, AFF
AFF general-secretary Datuk Seri Azzuddin says match fixers are finding creative ways to beat anti-corruption authorities.

The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) say they will work hard to ensure that that the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup will be free of match-fixing.

Sports data provider Sportsradar will once again be entrusted to monitor over 550 relevant betting operators across all 18 matches of the tournament, which begins on Saturday.

Should they sense any anomaly, the regional body will be notified, along with the authorities.

"The fact that match fixers are everywhere cannot be denied. They are getting increasingly creative...