Bakti said he had no information on the news that his defender Ramez Dayoub has been banned for life pending an appeal by the Lebanese FA for alleged match-fixing, according to reports on the internet late on Tuesday. "I haven't heard from my boss or association. But I have got calls from the media in Singapore inquiring about this. Till I hear otherwise, Dayoub is available for tomorrow's game," Bakti told HT over the phone from the team hotel.
The coach said he hasn't spoken to Dayoub, who trained with East Bengal in 2009 but couldn't join because of a contractual dispute, and is treating this as a rumour for now.
Reports on the internet said Dayoub, 28, who joined Selangor early last year is one of the two players banned for life. One report also said 24 Lebanese players have been charged with influencing results of the national team.
Earlier, Bakti spoke about how Malaysia is still recovering from the impact of the illegal betting scandal that hit the country in the 1990s. "At the highest level, our football's clean now but I think we are still feeling the impact of that scandal," said Bakti.
But close scrutiny of the top tier may have left the under-21s more vulnerable, said Bakti. "Retired players are part of most such set-ups and tapping under-21 players is easier and can also act as investments for the future," he said without elaborating.