Football - Burkina Faso run gives Put hope of emerging from scandal

Paul Put hopes to emerge from the shadow of a match-fixing scandal by leading Burkina Faso to the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup on Sunday.


Put is banned in his native Belgium for his role in fixing matches and has been forced to continue his career in Africa, where he has guided unfancied Burkina Faso to the knockout stage of the tournament in South Africa.

His team knocked out defending champions Zambia and meet Togo in Sunday's quarter-final in Nelspruit.

The success is a positive turn in Put's career after he was banned for life from any coaching job in Belgium following the scandal at Lierse eight years ago.

"I know it looks unlikely but I'm hoping for a second chance in my country. That is why I'm so driven. I see this as a chance to relaunch my career," he said in an interview with Belgium's Voetbal magazine this week.

"This is a way to work your way to the top and success here looks good on your CV. All these game are shown live in Europe and so it's a great chance to get profile again and to be back on the radar in Belgium."

At Lierse he was found to have taken money from a Chinese betting syndicate to influence players to throw the results of Belgian top-flight league matches.

Put admitted he had fixed two matches while in charge of Lierse in 2005. He said his family had been threatened, and is currently involved in a legal bid to get the ban overturned.

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