Friday, 9 March 2012

FAM wants FIFA official to apologize for match-fixing allegations

The Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) Deputy President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah urged FIFA, the world governing body for football, to apologize for the baseless accusation by its former head of security Chris Eaton with regard to match-fixing in Malaysia.

Eaton had claimed in a report published by a Singapore daily on Feb 16, that several FAM officials were directly involved in match-fixing, in the Malaysian League.

Tengku Abdullah deemed Eaton's claims as baseless and unethical because he (Eaton) had failed to substantiate his comments clearly and with evidence.

"He has gone overboard with his unethical statement. I do not know if there is a hidden agenda but FIFA must explain if there is no evidence in such a claim.

"FIFA must also take action for issuing such a damaging statement," he told reporters after visiting several venues for the SUKMA XV here today, adding that such a statement can tarnish the image of FAM and the reputation of the country.

The match-fixing crisis in Malaysia has been on the rise with several unprecedented cases emerging in recent times, especially when Johor FC suspended six President's Cup players for match-fixing, after FAM handed out severe punishment to 11 President Cup players from Negeri Sembilan last month.

Subsequently, the FAM held a closed door meeting, chaired by FAM Examination, Monitoring and Transparency Committee chairman, Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat, to seek an explanation from Eaton on his claim that FAM officials were involved in the match-fixing scandal.

It was also attended by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's director of Intelligence, Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil and a representative from the Royal Malaysian Police.

Eaton, who was accompanied by FIFA investigation officer Terry Steans and FIFA head of Security for Asia, Michael Pride also informed FAM that he had left the world football governing body to join an agency in Qatar.

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