Former Austria forward Kuljic jailed over match-fixing

Former Austria forward Kuljic jailed over match-fixing
Sanel Kuljic (L) fights for the ball with FC Sion's Vilmos Vanczak during their Swiss Super League soccer match in Sion September 23, 2010.

VIENNA - Former Austria forward Sanel Kuljic was sentenced to five years' in prison on Friday for his part in the country's biggest-ever match-fixing scandal.

Dominique Taboga, a former league player, was given three years, two of them suspended, and six other people were also given custodial sentences by the court in Graz, the Austria News Agency (APA) said, while two defendants were acquitted.

The sentences can be appealed.

Kuljic, who retired as a player in 2012, played for Austria 20 times between 2005 and 2007 but failed to make the cut for the Euro 2008 squad. He was joint top scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga in 2005/06 for SV Ried with 15 goals.

"You were a football God, you must mend the damage you have done to your fans," judge Elisabeth Juschitz told Kuljic in passing sentence.

The prosecution said that 18 matches in the Austrian Bundesliga and Erste Liga, the second tier, were manipulated between 2004 and 2013.

The case came to light last November when Taboga's club Groedig said the player had admitted trying to persuade four team mates to manipulate matches. The club said the other players declined to get involved.

Taboga was later banned for life by the Austrian Football Federation (OeFB).

Kuljic, who had retired in 2012, was subsequently arrested over allegations that he tried to blackmail Taboga in the case along with two other men.

Prosecutors said that police caught them collecting money from Taboga at a shopping centre car park near Salzburg

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