FAM tell in­tegrity de­part­ment to probe al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing in­volv­ing MISC-MIFA team

New Straits Times - - Front Page - AJITPAL SINGH ajit­pals­ingh@nst.com.my

SHOCKED by MISC-MIFA coach Ja­cob Joseph’s dis­clo­sure about the pos­si­bil­ity of match-fix­ing in his team, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will de­ploy their in­tegrity de­part­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the claim.

FAM gen­eral-sec­re­tary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin was sur­prised with Joseph’s rev­e­la­tion when con­tacted yes­ter­day.

“I read the re­port in the New

Straits Times to­day and I am re­ally dis­turbed with this. It is a state­ment from the coach,” Hamidin told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“I will get FAM’s in­tegrity de­part­ment to check on this to­mor­row. They will be on a fact find­ing mis­sion and will check with Joseph and the other team’s of­fi­cials.”

Joseph said on Satur­day that some of his play­ers have been dis­hon­est af­ter the 7-2 thrash­ing by Univer­siti Te­knoloji Malaysia (UiTM) in a Premier League match last week.

The newly pro­moted side are cur­rently 11th in the stand­ing with one win and six de­feats, scor­ing 14 goals and con­ced­ing 23.

The coach claimed that he had in­formed the man­age­ment about the pos­si­bil­ity of some play­ers be­ing in­volved in fix­ing matches but they told him to get ev­i­dence.

“We need to get more in­for­ma­tion be­fore we in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tion fur­ther.

“If there is ev­i­dence, it will be handed to the po­lice and the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC).

“We are tak­ing a se­ri­ous ap­proach. It is hard to get ev­i­dence but we will com­pre­hen­sively look into this mat­ter,” Hamidin added.

Re­spond­ing to the match against UiTM, Joseph said on Satur­day he had never lost a game so badly in his 20 over years of coach­ing.

Each foot­ball club in the MLeague are sup­posed to have their in­ter­nal in­tegrity com­mit­tees to mon­i­tor match-fix­ing within the team.

FAM en­gaged Fifa’s Early Warn­ing Sys­tem (EWS) last Au­gust to mon­i­tor the bet­ting trends and also an­a­lyse matches to fight match-fix­ing.

How­ever, FAM do not share the find­ings or reports from EWS with Foot­ball Malaysia Limited Li­a­bil­ity Malaysia (FMLLP), who is man­ag­ing the M-League.

FMLLP chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kevin Ramalingam said if the al­le­ga­tions by Joseph are true, then more ef­forts must be taken to fight match-fix­ing.

“Malaysian foot­ball will not move for­ward if such neg­a­tive el­e­ments are not dealt with com­pre­hen­sively.

“We hope the po­lice and MACC will play a ma­jor role in tack­ling match-fix­ing. FMLLP does not have the in­ves­tiga­tive power to pros­e­cute in the mat­ter that is de­ter­rent.

“A more se­vere pun­ish­ment should be im­posed on fix­ers. Sus­pend­ing play­ers will not solve it in a holis­tic man­ner. We need a pun­ish­ment that not only af­fects play­ers but also the en­tire line of fix­ers,” said Kevin.

Al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing in Malaysia are not new. Many play­ers have been sus­pended since the 1990s but it has failed to com­pletely erad­i­cate foot­ball cor­rup­tion.

Sus­pi­cion of foul play hangs over the MISC-MIFA team’s heavy 7-2 de­feat to UiTM in a Premier League match on Fri­day.

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