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FIFA Asked To Probe Bribery Report

November 26, 1997

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Asia’s soccer organization wants the sport’s world governing body to investigate a referee’s allegation that he was offered $50,000 to help the United Arab Emirates beat Japan in a World Cup qualifying game.

``We are somewhat surprised to hear about this attempt as there had been no mention of it in the official match report,″ Peter Vellapan, general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, said in a statement today.

``Still, it is in the interest of both FIFA and AFC to delve further into the allegation.″

Costa Rican referee Rodrigo Badilla said Monday that he had received an anonymous telephone call in his hotel offering him $50,000 if he would help the Emirates beat Japan in a game on Oct. 25. He said he rejected the offer.

The match ended in a 1-1 tie, but Japan qualified for the finals by beating Iran 3-2 in a sudden-death playoff Nov. 16. The Emirates failed to earn a berth in next year’s finals in France.

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