Former Ghana international Mark Edusei has rejected claims that he was involved in match-fixing that resulted in a global ban slapped on him by FIFA this week.
The ex-Italian Serie A says the accusation levelled against him by FIFA is false because he was in no away involved in the match and suspects because he was not present for a scheduled hearing on the matter he was given the ban.
His ban of three years and six months was originally imposed by the Italian Football Federation and upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May.
He was found guilty of helping fix a Serie B match on 23 May 2009, when his Bari side lost 3-2 to Salernitana.
Edusei says he was in no way involved the match that he was found guilty to have been involved in.
â€œI never got myself involved in any match fixing, because I had travelled outside Italy the day this said match was played, so I couldnâ€™t have contributed in bringing the name of the game into disrepute,â€ Edusei told Metro FM.
â€œThe game was fixed by some of the old players in the team, but unfortunately, we were all charged and banned for wrong doing.
â€œDuring the time the Italian Football Federation invited us for hearing, I was in England, trying to secure a Visa, so I couldnâ€™t get back to Italy, since my passport wasnâ€™t with me then, so my lawyer represented me.
â€œI think my absence affected me and also because there were evidence to substantiate that the team was a victim of match fixing scandal, we were all suspended, irrespective of whether you were present or not.
â€œMy lawyers will go for a review to overturn the decision, though I have retired from active football I would have to clear my name.â€
Edusei, part of the Ghana squad at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, last played club football in Switzerland in 2011.
As well as playing in Switzerland and for several clubs in Italy including Sampdoria and Torino, he also had a loan spell in Portugal and a stint in Israel.
He had stints withÂ Al-Ahli, Hapoel Petah Tikva, Lecce, Cosenza, Sampdoria, Catania and Bellinzona.