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'Several' Malaysians involved in match-fixing: FIFA

The head of security for football's ruling body FIFA said today "several" Malaysians and a Singaporean were involved in match-fixing but cleared the national body.

sports Updated: May 19, 2011 19:12 IST

The head of security for football's ruling body FIFA said on Thursday "several" Malaysians and a Singaporean living here were involved in match-fixing but cleared the national body.

Chris Eaton said his team was investigating match-fixing scandals in Germany, Finland and Singapore, and their probe had led them to Malaysia.

"I have to admit that from our investigations, several Malaysians are involved in match-fixing. But the case did not involve the FAM (Football Association of Malaysia)," he told reporters, without revealing an exact number.

Eaton said the FIFA team was also "investigating a Singaporean who is living in Malaysia" but declined to give further details.

"The FAM has a very good approach to combating corruption and the police are very active," he added.

Eaton and his team met with FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and top police officers from the vice and anti-gaming unit.

Following the meeting, Tengku Abdullah said the FAM together with the police would set up a nationwide taskforce to monitor national and state teams as well as state football associations.

"FAM does not want a repeat of the match-fixing scandal that rocked the country in 1995. So, I have advised national players and officials to not repeat that episode or they will be in serious trouble," he told Bernama.

Football officials say that more than 100 players, officials and bookies were investigated over bribery and match-fixing claims by the FAM in 1995 with over 70 receiving life bans as a result.

FIFA is investigating claims that more than 300 matches on three continents were influenced by match-fixers.

Last week, the New Straits Times newspaper said FIFA's full investigation into match-fixing had led to two Malaysians, adding that its investigators would interview several people in the country.

Employees from at least six different national football associations are under suspicion of assisting a criminal network, which is thought to operate out of Singapore and Malaysia.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently said that football's world governing body would donate $ 28 million to Interpol to fund a dedicated anti-corruption unit in Singapore to help fight match-fixing.

First Published: May 19, 2011 19:08 IST