Monday, 6 February 2012

Players suspended for match fixing cannot appeal

There is no room for appeal for the coach and players suspended for corruption as the FA of Malaysia (FAM) have an airtight case against them.

FAM had, on Saturday, suspended 18 President’s Cup players for two to five years, and banned a former Negri Sembilan President’s Cup coach for life.

The players, six each from last season’s Negri Sembilan, T-Team (Terengganu) and Muar Municipal Council Under-20 squads, had been found guilty of match-fixing.

FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said the disciplinary committee started investigations late last November, working closely with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and concluded their findings on Jan 2.

“We are serious about tackling corruption and will not accept appeals from the suspended players and official,” Azzuddin said yesterday.

“The evidence against them is overwhelming and they have no grounds to challenge the action taken against them.

“Some of the players admitted that they had accepted bribes to fix matches. They even surrendered the money when giving their statement during our investigation.” 

The names of the players and coach will be made public on Wednesday after the necessary paperwork and will be circulated to all state affiliates and clubs.

Azzuddin said while the states and clubs had co-operated in the investigation, he hopes there would be more pro-active action to curb match-fixing at all levels.

“The state FAs should take a leaf out of FAM’s book and be more vigilant after this. There must be no let-up in our crackdown so that all concerned get the message that we mean business,” said Azzudin.

“The states should have a vetting committee on a full-time basis and work closely with the enforcement agencies to monitor the players and officials.”

Azzuddin said the states should also share information and investigate any suspicious behaviour or patterns.

“In the past, we had states terminating the contracts of players suspected of being involved with bookies only for them to join other teams,” said Azzuddin.

“They should share their findings with FAM and the other states so that these players can be blacklisted. They will just spread the match-fixing disease if they are allowed to join other teams.”

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