Tuesday, 14 February 2012

FAM to target bookies and betting syndicates to overcome match-fixing

After a crackdown on players and officials for match-fixing in the Malaysia League (M-League), the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will now go after the main culprits behind this malady – the bookies and betting syndicates.

FAM’s Vetting, Monitoring and Transparency committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat revealed that they have identified several local and international betting syndicates.

“We will liaise with the Immigration Department to stop those from the local syndicate from leaving the country and those from the international syndicate from entering the country,” Aseh said at a press conference after the committee’s meeting at Wisma FAM yesterday.

“If the local syndicates members leave the country it might hamper the ongoing police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­­mission (MACC) investigation. The influx of the foreign syndicate members will continue to tarnish our football.”

Aseh’s independent committee with members from the MACC and police have been investigating the re-emergence of match-fixing after the visit from FIFA security officer Chris Eaton last year.

Eaton told FAM that several Malaysians were involved in match-fixing in Germany, Finland and Singapore and that investigations pointed to a significant bookie connection in Kuala Lumpur.

A week ago (Monday), former Negri Sembilan President’s Cup coach Yusarman Yusof was slapped with a life ban while 11 Negri President’s Cup Under-20 team players were suspended for between one and five years for fixing the outcome of the match against Penang SDM Navy on April 21 last year

In 1994 a major match-fixing scandal rocked the country and more than 150 footballers were either banished or banned for life.

Aseh also revealed that three senior teams from the M-League are being investigated for match-fixing by his committee.

“We will take drastic action against them through FAM’s disciplinary committee if they are found guilty of match-fixing,” said Aseh.

“We are still in the midst of investigation and it is pre-mature to reveal the names of the teams involved but I can assure you that it is not as bad as the 1994 match-fixing scandal.

Aseh also said that a full-time Coordination and Integrity Unit chief will be appointed soon to check on match-fixing. A retired senior police officer has been selected for the job but the appointment will be announced later.

On a different matter, Aseh announced that his committee have approved the registration of seven foreign players for the M-League after receiving their International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

The seven are – Phillimon Chepita for Super League side PKNS, Eduard Sakhnevich and Boris Kochkin (Pahang), Micheal Ijezie and Junior Emmanuel (NS Betaria), Muriel Orlando (Johor) and Fokim Fondo (Johor MBJB).

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