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Special Court acquits five match-fixing accused former footballers

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KATHMANDU — The Special court has acquitted five former footballers accused of match-fixing in national and international games and their alleged nexus with bookies.

Hearing the case on Thursday, a bench of judges Baburam Regmi, Pramod Kumar Baiddha and Narayan Prasad Pokharel acquitted match-fixing-accused former captain of national football team Sagar Thapa, Sandip Rai, Ritesh Thapa, Anjan KC, Bikash Singh Kshetri, and team physiotherapist Dejiv Thapa.

They were arrested on October 14, 2015 for match fixing. Then a case was filed against them for conspiring against the state. But they were released on bail on November 10 last year.

The alleged footballers facing subversion charges for their alleged involvement in match-fixing of the international games that Nepal played were released on bail, on November 10, 2015.

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Anjan and Ritesh paid Rs 500,000, Sagar paid Rs 150,000, and the rest paid Rs 50,000, respectively as bail.

Asian football regulatory body had reportedly found the three footballers and one coach guilty of violating article 62 and 69 of the AFC Disciplinary Code in relation to various friendly international matches between 2008 to 2012.

The accused had admitted their involvement in match fixing of international football matches since 2008 to the police officials. However, they had refuted the indictment made against them in the court.

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World Cup: Nigeria beats Iceland 2-0

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MOSCOW — Nigeria has defeated Iceland 2-0 to revive its hopes of advancing into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Russia, as striker Ahmed Musa dramatically marked his return to the team with two fine second-half goals.

After a goalless first half, Musa scored a brace in the second half to take Nigeria to second in the Group D standings, behind already qualified Croatia.

Musa gave the African nation the lead with counter-attacking goal early in the 49th minute and increased the lead with a brilliant solo goal in the 75th minute.

It was a forgettable day for Iceland, and a missed penalty by Gylfi Sigurdsson added more misery for them. The result gave Lionel Messi-led Argentina too as they are very much in contention for the knock-outs now.

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The result left both sides, and struggling Argentina, still in the hunt to go through from Group D along with already-qualified Croatia.

But Argentina and World Cup debutants Iceland have to win their respective games against Nigeria and Croatia next week to have a chance of advancing.

Roared on by thousands of fans from the tiny country, Iceland kept pushing and was awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when referee Matt Conger used the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) system to confirm that striker Alfred Finnbogason had been fouled by Tyronne Ebuehi.

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