Thursday, 1 March 2012

FAM planning strategy to fight match-fixing problems

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) will put in place a mechanism that would require everyone in connection with football to declare their assets.

The move comes as the spectre of match-fixing haunts Malaysian football with Johor FC the latest to suspend six President's Cup players.

In response to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) suggestion that footballers, officials and family members declare their assets, FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said the measures are being put in place.

"We are formulating the mechanism and once it's ready, the draft will be presented to the vetting, transparency and monitoring committee headed by Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat.

"They will deliberate on the matter and forward a report to the executive committee for approval," said Azzuddin yesterday.

On Tuesday, the New Straits Times reported MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Sutinah Sutan as saying that periodical asset declarations would help deter and detect graft among footballers and officials.

Corruption among officials became an issue after Fifa head of security Chris Eaton told Singapore's Straits Times that an investigation had linked Malaysian football administrators to match-fixing in Southeast Asia.

FAM has strongly rejected Eaton's claims but welcomed MACC's suggestion of asset declarations by players, coaches, referees and officials.

Azzuddin, though, was unable to say when the mechanism would be put in place though he hoped it would be soon.

"We hope to get it done as soon as possible. We are supportive of MACC's suggestions though we have not discussed it with them," he added.

Meanwhile, Felda United's Hardi Jaafar and Firdaus Fauzi have been banned for five games and fined RM5,000 each by FAM's disciplinary committee after a five-hour hearing on Monday.

The two players were found guilty of encroaching into the spectators area following a contentious Super League match against Negri Sembilan at the Paroi Stadium on Jan 21.

They had faced a maximum season-long suspension and a fine of RM25,000 but escaped a charge of intentionally seeking to confront fans.

The incident was sparked by a Negri fan throwing a bottle at Felda goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad as he was walking off the pitch after the game was won 1-0 by Negri. Three red cards were flashed, including one to Hardi after the final whistle.

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